Each year, there is no bigger event in the football card hobby than the NFLPA Rookie Premiere. This is the time where the new rookies for each team get to debut their new teams and take pictures for everything – from sports cards to Madden and other media. Its also the time where card companies get autographs, patches and material to use in their cards all year long. If you werent already aware, rookie memorabilia is all obtained at this event, not from the games played during the season.
This is also a time where many of the initial on card autographs are signed, some 1500 plus over the course of a few days:
In previous years, the attendee list has ballooned from 30 to 35, all the way up to 41 attendees this year. As a result, this means that most of the skill position players drafted during the first 3 days will be attending, regardless of their potential for production on the field. Believe it or not, this isnt usually a bad thing, as it means that the one sleeper guy who will break out during the year will likely be among this group. It also means that there will be that many more duds that can kill your box.
I am counting a number of guys that could fill that role, including 5-10 WR alone. At the same time, this is a pretty deep class in both RB and WR, which would explain the invite list being more bloated with those guys.
Bottom line, if the guy your team drafted isnt on this list, there will LIKELY not be material cards for that player over the year. They also are UNLIKELY to have NFL jersey photos that arent retouched from their college days, or feature a shot from the pro day/combine.
Because all pictures and material is produced at this event, so much of any player’s year depends on premiere attendance. Most of those event worn swatches are from the jerseys they wear for a few seconds during the week, although Topps has done a good job bringing on more rookies who emerge as the season begins.
Here is the list: