For a championship-starved franchise, finding a reliable quarterback is a big step. Even having a high draft pick or two isn’t always a guarantee. The league’s history is littered with busts. If the interest in Sam Darnold rookie cards is any indication, there’s still a strong belief that the third pick in the 2018 NFL Draft might be the guy to push the New York Jets in that direction.
While Lamar Jackson rightfully got much of the hobby’s attention in 2019, Darnold was battling through some adversity and it may have been an important year in his development. He’s still a work in progress and has had his share of trials and tribulations, but there’s a lot to like about his youth, his makeup, his arm and his leadership.
“I love Darnold’s mentality, the way he goes about things, the way he talks, the way he commands a huddle,” said former Jets center Mangold in an appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.
The Jets have made it their mission to build a better line and improved roster to put around their franchise quarterback.
Darnold is a big of a football prodigy. In 2018, the former USC standout was the youngest opening day starter since the NFL/AFL merger in 1967 and was still just 22 as his second season came to a close. Having the opportunity to accumulate a lot of productive stats wouldn’t hurt his cards over the long haul, assuming he continues his development.
Darnold seems mature enough to handle just about anything thrown his way. He overcame the ridiculous criticism over his famous “seeing ghosts” comment, then a well-publicized bout with mono and some odd, but painful injuries as his career got underway. Perseverance and the ability to rise above such obstacles and face the abnormal amount of scrutiny he receives in the nation’s media capital bode well.
Part of a potentially loaded 2018 draft class that includes Lamar Jackson, Saquon Barkley, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen and a few others who should have long NFL careers, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Darnold could eventually emerge as the biggest long-term star of all.
Sam Darnold Rookie Cards
Like most 21st century players, Darnold has a mountain of rookie cards. More than two dozen different high-end or 1/1 cards sold for $5,000 and up during his first two seasons, but of course most don’t bring nearly that much. At least at this point, many of his certified autograph rookie cards–even from higher-end brands– can still be had for well under $200. Darnold rookie cards from Panini’s least expensive brands are available for little more than the price of a fast food meal.
Among the most popular and actively traded Darnold rookie cards on eBay among those who like the higher-end products are the 2018 National Treasures Rookie Patch Autographs, numbered to 99, the Contenders Rookie Ticket Auto (and the Cracked Ice version numbered to 24) as well as Donruss Optic and Prizm autographs and serial-numbered unsigned parallels. Rookie patch autographs from 2018 Immaculate are others to watch, with an attractive look and prices still fairly reasonable.
It’s important to keep in mind that while some of the traditionally popular autographed rookie cards can be pricey, there are plenty of lower serial numbered autographed Darnold cards that sell for much less. Look for on-card autographs whenever possible.
You can see an up to date list of the 50 most watched Sam Darnold rookie card auctions on eBay via the list below.