We are now a quarter of the way through the 2015 season, and through that time, we have gotten a pretty clear picture of early impact for the top rookies of the year. As expected, certain rookies have been able to showcase why they were drafted so high, while others have struggled. As a whole, the football market remains pretty soft, and I dont see that changing anytime soon – much to my dismay.
When the Buccaneers drafted him, it was clear that he was going to have his work cut out for him. The offensive line was among the worst in the league, and his running game was practically non-existent. The hobby was high on his potential because of his performances in college, but his first few games have not shown anything to get really excited about. I would normally say we should wait before jumping to conclusions, but this is a hobby that rarely provides any respite from criticism and its relationship to value.
2015 Immaculate Jameis Winston Auto Variation /5
2015 Inception Jameis Winston Silver Signatures Auto RC
2015 Topps Jameis Winston 1987 Super Rookie Auto /25
Unlike Winston and the learning curve that was going to be necessary for him to succeed, the Titans built a very simple offense for Mariota to thrive within. Shorter throws, high completion percentage, etc, all with the idea of using the system he was successful with in College. His 4 TD performance in week one catapulted him into the hobby stratosphere, but he also played reasonably well in the next two games. He has 8 TDs to 2 picks, and for a rookie that is very good news.
2015 Topps Marcus Mariota Signature Series Auto SSP
2015 Upper Deck Inscriptions Marcus Mariota Auto RC
2015 Topps Marcus Mariota Rookie Premiere Auto
I was high on him coming out of college, and other than Mariota, Cooper looks to be the top valued rookie in the class. His cards have sold EXTREMELY well for a WR, and his stats show that he is performing better than most rookie receivers play. His 24 receptions leads the rookie class, as does his 2 TDs. The hobby loves what he brings to a popular team, and I expect he might come out of this class as one of the more prominent names.
2015 Donruss Elite Amari Cooper New Breed Auto Relic
2015 Bowman Chrome Amari Cooper Blue Refractor Auto /99
Although his ACL recovery session kept him out of the first few games, he exploded last week with 155 yards rushing. RBs are rarely drafted high in the NFL anymore, and its becoming evident why Gurley was given that distinction. The hobby soured on his absence a bit, but prices are back up after the performance last week. Definitely going to be interesting to see if they hold, especially if he can continue to perform.
2015 Panini VIP Todd Gurley Red Wave Auto BGS 9.5
2015 Leaf Trinity Todd Gurley Inscription Auto
2015 Topps Inception Todd Gurley Auto Red /75
San Diego hasnt exactly shown that they arent overrated this year, almost coming up short against the now 0-4 Lions, and getting shellacked by the Vikings. Gordon has gotten his fair share of carries, but has yet to find the endzone. Collectors are tired of waiting for RBs in San Diego to pan out, as Rivers continues to be the focus on the team.
2015 Topps Melvin Gordon Auto SP Variation
2015 Leaf Metal Draft Melvin Gordon Red Refractor Auto /5 BGS 9.5
As the third RB in a deep class, Abdullah had a stellar preseason and a TD in week one. Since then, the Lions offense has sputtered behind an injury riddled offensive line. The entire team has struggled to find their groove, and he has not been able to replicate success as a result. Collectors have cooled as well, but that is to be expected when a playoff team starts the season 0-4.
2015 Topps Ameer Abdullah Mini 1963 Retro Auto
2015 Prizm Draft Picks Ameer Abdullah Auto Refractor
Matt Jones – RB Washington
The Redskins looked like a dumpster fire coming into 2015, especially with the RGIII situation playing out on the national stage. Matt Jones looked great in the first games of the year, and the hobby responded in kind. He is still very cheap, and he might be the person to shoulder most of the carries in Washington if he continues to perform.
2015 Bowman Chrome Matt Jones Superfractor Auto 1/1
2015 Donruss Elite Matt Jones Auto
Karlos Williams – RB Buffalo
Another rookie RB that has played very well, with 3 TDs so far this year already. With LeSean McCoy struggling to stay healthy, he has gotten more of the stage. His cards went from worth nothing to worth something, and that says a lot for a position that is all but dead in cards today.
2015 Inception Karlos Williams Auto Pink Parallel
2015 Prestige Karlos Williams Auto RC
Even though the bigger named rookies are still ramping up, customers are already looking to find their targets as the premium products start to roll out. I would expect that as sets like Finest and Platinum hit shelves, we should have a better idea of what 2015 will eventually look like in terms of potential for this season. Collectors fail to see that many rookies can take years to develop, and that spells a buyers market for a lot of the guys out there. This is a good time to get your cards, especially if your target isnt a big name.