One of the main reasons the 2013 Rookie Class was so lack luster has a lot to do with star power. When you consider the most "famous" rookie of the class is Manti Te'o for obvious reasons, that isnt a good thing. For 2014, that changes when Johnny Manziel becomes a likely top pick. After a tremendous performance vs Duke last night, I think there are a lot of collectors who are ready to chase Johnny Football in packs through his rookies season.
In fact, they are already scrambling to get what is already out there:
Being the first freshman to win the Heisman in years gets you some national attention, as does actions off the field. With that national attention comes collectors who want to get in early. Brian Gray at Leaf saw some major potential in Manziel's cards being included prior to coming out of college, and for the most part, that risk paid off in spades. It didnt come without controversy, as the photos that were used could have been part of another national story regarding Manziel signing for money.
I am not a huge fan of Manziel, as I dont believe his playing style will translate well to the NFL. However, even I am excited to have him as a part of 2014 packs. We need it. Fame creates value even better than performance potential, and its clear that Manziel is the top name to come out of school since Tim Tebow. Obviously Tebow’s career was rightfully ended due to lack of skills, but Manziel is on a very different level of talent. One could argue that Luck and RGIII were "famous" as well, but I dont think its the same kind of fame we are seeing here. People are drawn to flamboyant personalities, of which Johnny Football has oodles.
Although he was unable to win a national title, he should be the most valuable autograph until the season starts. I wouldnt be shocked if he ends up being a top 10 pick, which will only serve to increase the demand for his cards. After that, its up to him to do the rest on the field.