How Did the First Round of the 2016 NFL Draft Shake Out For the Hobby?

2016NFLDraftlogo

I love the draft. Its my favorite event of the year other than the Super Bowl, mainly because there is so much that goes on and so much action. Aside from some horrible things that happened to Laremy Tunsil last night, I would say it was one of the more interesting first rounds of recent years. Starting the night with two QBs isnt a bad thing either.

Jared Goff

Pick: 1
Hobby Potential (2016): High
Hobby Potential (Long Term): Fair to Good
Hobby Pick Grade: B

The hobby loves quarterbacks, especially quarterbacks that are taken number one. Its a distinction that gets you extra love from the collectors, and Goff will be getting some nice values as a result. I personally dont think he is going to be the next big thing or even a top guy, but this is the era we are in. Teams think they need QBs at the expense of everything else. The Rams arent all that great of a team, and that is going to hurt his development too. Going to be interesting how he does.

2016 Contenders Draft Jared Goff Auto Ticket

2016 Leaf Metal Draft Jared Goff Black Refractor Auto /15

2016 Score Jared Goff Artists Proof Auto /25

Carson Wentz

Pick: 2
Hobby Potential (2016): High
Hobby Potential (Long Term): Fair to Good
Hobby Pick Grade: B+

For some reason, people like Carson Wentz more than Jared Goff right now, and its a bit odd. Both of the two top guys were looking to be rated similarly, and may end up being interchangeable for the rest of the year as a result. Its not like Goff was miles ahead. Like Goff, I dont see a huge reason to dump all sorts of praise on Wentz as the future of the Eagles, but at least they look to be on a better track than they were with Chip at the helm.

2016 Leaf Metal Draft Carson Wentz Blue Refractor Auto /50

2016 Score Carson Wentz Gold Zone Auto /25

2016 Leaf Ultimate Carson Wentz Black Auto /10

Ezekiel Elliott

Pick: 4
Hobby Potential (2016): High
Hobby Potential (Long Term): Good
Hobby Pick Grade: A

This is a great, great, great situation for football cards. Widely collected team gets who is likely the most widely hyped prospect. Although RBs have little value in the hobby these days, Gurley showed that rookie seasons can be fun for collectors. I see a big drop off in his cards after this year, as second year RB cards NEVER sell. The position is a black hole for hobby value these days, and that is sad. Elliott is not as good as Gurley, but he should be a fun player to watch behind the best Offensive Line in the league.

2016 Contenders Ezekiel Elliott Bowl Auto /99

2016 Leaf Ezekiel Elliott Gold Auto /25

Corey Coleman

Pick: 15
Hobby Potential (2016): Fair
Hobby Potential (Long Term): Low
Hobby Pick Grade: D+

Ahhhhh Cleveland. Thanks for taking a WR and ruining his collecting appeal. Its not that there arent Browns collectors out there, its just that no one has confidence that they can develop anyone of worth. Coleman has talent to be a good WR, but does anyone believe RGIII is going to find the magic pill that reverts his body and mind to 2012? Even if Coleman turns out to have nice production, at best I see him as another Mike Evans type guy in the hobby.

2016 Leaf Metal Corey Coleman Gold Refractor 1/1

2016 Contenders Draft Corey Coleman Cracked Ice /23

Will Fuller

Pick: 21
Hobby Potential (2016): Fair
Hobby Potential (Long Term): Fair to Good
Hobby Pick Grade: B-

Im not quite sure why Houston wanted to pick a WR over some of the other desperate needs they have, but when you overpay for a QB like they did with Osweiler, I guess you have to surround him with weapons to make it less likely he is going to suck. The issue is that DeAndre Hopkins is the number 1 in Houston, and that means Will Fuller is just going to be used like Mike Wallace was in Pittsburgh. He is a speedster, and he might not get much of a look outside of that for a few years.

2016 Score Will Fuller Auto Showcase RC

2016 Leaf Metal Draft Will Fuller Red Refractor Auto /5

Josh Doctson

Pick: 22
Hobby Potential (2016):Good
Hobby Potential (Long Term): Fair to Good
Hobby Pick Grade: A-

I really like Doctson. Its really too bad, because I HATE THE REDSKINS. He is going to be the best receiver in the class, and it is really shitty that he is going to a team that I cant stand. The main issue with Doctson is not his skill, but that he has a TERRIBLE signature, and that will hurt his long term value in some ways. I think this guy will be one of the main sleepers of this class. You watch.

2016 Prizm Draft Josh Doctson Purple Flash Auto

2016 Score Josh Doctson Purple Auto /25

Laquon Treadwell

Pick: 23
Hobby Potential (2016): Fair to Good
Hobby Potential (Long Term): Fair to Good
Hobby Pick Grade: B+

I was very happy with this pick, obviously. Vikings are a widely collected team, and Treadwell looks like a good receiver to pair with Teddy and Stefon Diggs. That being said, he isnt going to have the long TDs or be a focus as long as Peterson is around, so that could limit his production for the first couple of years. The Vikings are a dink and dump team in the passing game, and hopefully Treadwell will give them some good receptions in that respect.

2016 Score Laquon Treadwell Blue Auto /50

2016 Leaf Ultimate Laquon Treadwell Gold Auto /50

Paxton Lynch

Pick 26
Hobby Potential (2016): Good to High
Hobby Potential (Long Term): Good
Hobby Pick Grade: A

Here is something everyone needs to know. Lynch is not going to play in 2016 barring injury. He may not play in 2017. He is a project with major upside, and a great potential to eventually be a popular player. That means his cards are going to slump, and collectors hate waiting. If you have Lynch’s cards, now is the time to sell if you dont want to wait that amount of time. The reason I gave this an A is because by the time everyone gets he isnt going to play, we will already be most of the way through the year. The Broncos are a popular team and that will mean a lot of bump for his value.

2016 Leaf Metal Draft Paxton Lynch Blue Auto /50

2016 Contenders Paxton Lynch Bowl Ticket Auto /99

I still think this class could end up being a dud, but with some of the teams added now, maybe not as much. I guess we will have to see.

SCU Go-Live Report: 2016 Bowman Baseball Product Review

Today is a big day for Baseball cards, as the yearly Bowman set hits shelves with a splash. With some rookies in the set already making waves, this is shaping up to be a very interesting year of the product, especially with the debut of Kenta Maeda's chrome RCs.

Here are some of the bigger hits already up:

2016 Bowman Chrome Kenta Maeda Blue Refractor Auto RC

2016 Bowman Chrome Kenta Maeda Base Auto RC

2016 Bowman Alex Bregman Orange Refractor Auto RC /25

2016 Bowman Ivan Rodgriguez Chrome Retro Auto Red Refractor /5

2016 Bowman Victor Robles Purple Refractor Auto RC

The last time we had a big rookie from Asia hit the league, he refused to sign any autographs for the card companies. Masahiro Tanaka hasnt really panned out 100% the way people thought, but he is still a nice piece for a Yankees team that is very popular among collectors. Maeda has had a tremendous start with only 1 earned run on his stat sheet through two starts. This makes his cards that much more desirable, especially with his international appeal. Bowman is the card everyone wants, and that is why this set is already garnering a lot of buzz.

Other prospects are going to be a focus as well, with Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada making his Bowman debut, alongside guys like Alex Bregman and a second card of Dansby Swanson in his new Braves uniform. Others like Robles will also be a card that people clamor for, but with Bowman its all about the color.

It takes a village to make a product’s legacy solid, and Bowman has one of the most widespread followings in the hobby. BGS loves it too, because grading is almost intertwined with the set’s release. Prospectors spend hours combing through scouting reports and MILB stats to find their targets, and it creates an economy unlike anything we see in any other product or sport.

For me, I love seeing Bowman every year, just because the design is always one of the better ones that Topps does on an annual basis. This year's design is really cool looking, and not the usual approach that we see. The borders are a bit more hidden, and the design elements a bit more flashy than normal. Considering that Topps already took a modern approach to flagship, this should not be expected.

Bottom line, if you are a prospector, today is a national holiday. With the way prospects are continually chased among collectors, Bowman remains a beacon of future potential that continues to be a staple in the fabric of the hobby. This year’s set is another fine example of why the cards remain among the most coveted.

On the Radar: 2016 Topps Five Star Baseball

Topps Five Star Baseball

When Five Star debuted in football in 2010, it immediately became my favorite set of the year. It made the transition to baseball shortly after, and though it has never really caught on the same way, I still look forward to it. Now that Football is no longer an option for Topps, the only way to get my yearly Five Star fix is through MLB.

Here are some of the nicer cards from previous editions of the product:

2013 Topps Five Star Clayton Kershaw Silver Signature Auto

2015 Topps Five Star Mike Trout Auto SP /5

2014 Topps Five Star Bryce Harper Auto /25

2015 Topps Five Star Ken Griffey Jr Jumbo Patch Auto /35

This year’s version looks to be a nice improvement in design as compared to 2015, including some really cool looking autograph cards. Although I dont see inscriptions or other unique autograph content previewed, its safe to say that something special will be used to get people to buy in. Since the update to a cheaper format and a two card pack, it looks like more people are willing to dive in on a few boxes, just to see what they come out with. I busted my fair share last year, and was happy with the results, but its all going to depend on the checklist this year, and whether or not the big rookies will be available.

I love that they have single logo autographs again, as stuff like that always draws a crowd. I wish it had more patch autographs like we saw in 2012 and 2013, but if that means diluting what Dynasty brings to the table, maybe its not the best idea. The jumbo patch autos from 2015 did end up being quite coveted, which only led people to start chasing down sets. We will see if that happens again. I kind of hope they go back to the rectangular swatch though.

Five Star will always be a set I want to check out, and this year isnt any different. Although some of the bigger chase items are gone, there is still potential for this to turn out great. So far, it looks like it is off on the right foot.

On the Radar: 2016 Topps Dynasty Baseball

With Topps’ football products out of the picture, Topps Dynasty has become the set I look forward to each year. Last year's set was easily the best of 2015's product calendar across all sports, and 2014 was among the top as well. We are getting our first look at 2016, and right now, im not sure what to think. My initial reactions are not all that favorable.

Regardless, these are some of the most beautiful cards that exist:

2015 Topps Dynasty Hank Aaron Auto Relic /5

2015 Topps Dynasty Bryce Harper Jumbo Patch Auto /5

2015 Topps Dynasty Cal Ripken Jr Jumbo Patch Auto /10

2014 Topps Dynasty Mariano Rivera Jumbo Patch Auto /10

This year’s set is taking a much different design approach, focusing on closer up photos of the players and a different parallel design as compared to the sets of previous years. From description on the sell sheet, the stock used in Definitive Collection is likely going to be used for this product as well, which means that embossing and other elements will be there too.

It looks like the general format of the product is the same, with the addition of game swatches that are authenticated from specific moments. Those moments should be commemorated on the cards, which adds a cool element of connection to the swatch embedded in the card itself.

To be honest, this set is the best Topps makes at the moment, at least until we see what The Mint turns out to be. You are paying for it in the box price, but if you hit it big with any of the insane patches Topps uses, its going to be a good return. Although I dont think this is going to be as good looking as 2015, it should still be ridiculously popular with group breakers and collectors. I just wish they had stayed with the photo format from the first two years.

Topps Huddle Signs Long Term Deal With NFL and NFLPA

Topps Huddle logo

Today, we got some great news for all the digital card and Huddle fans out there. As of 3/31, Topps physical is no longer going to be producing trading cards, however Topps Digital will be in the NFL game for years to come. Announced today, Topps has signed a long term deal with both the NFL and NFLPA to remain a part of the licensed game, and I could not be more happy to report this news.

We knew that there was a deal in place, as the previous deal’s expiration would have prevented new digital Huddle cards from being released over the last month. What we didnt know was the length of the deal, which from the report, looks to be the foreseeable future. I cant even say how big of a deal this is, because it is probably the biggest news for Topps Digital in a very long time. Not only does it keep them in the game, but it is a large obscene gesture in Panini’s face considering their recent acquisition of the exclusive license in physical.

Bottom line, Topps has been in football for 60 years, and Huddle is a new extension of a way to continue that tradition. Although it is far from where Topps likely wants to be in the overall scope of trading cards, I can assure you this deal gives new life to the brand in a sport where they needed fresh air.

With the draft coming this week, Huddle is on its way to a very big month, already shaping up to be the best offseason ever. Not only have they found new inspiration in designing compelling content through the down time, but they have now secured a future that will allow more investment in the app than shorter deals would allow.

This is also the first all digital license for any trading card brand, which should give an added incentive for the digital team to perform. Not only that, but we will see how designs and other digital friendly resources are used without a physical counterpart to hold it back. Going to be very interesting indeed.

There have been many questions on this subject in the app articles and on twitter, and with the formalized statement, Huddle collectors can breathe a sigh of relief.

As someone who is both a physical and a digital card collector, this news is bittersweet to say the least. I am still quite bitter that a company who releases inferior trading cards in my favorite sport got the exclusive, but this does soften the blow a little. Considering how bad Panini’s digital games are as a whole, Topps looks to be ready to show them who is boss for a long time.

Here is the full statement:

Topps Continues Rich Football Tradition with NFL and NFLPA licensed Digital Cards