There are three events for the NFL season that I always go nuts for. One is the Super Bowl, one is opening week, and the other one is the NFL draft. I love every aspect of the draft, the trades, the player profiling the hope trafficking. The barren wasteland of football-less spring is given a stay for a few short days, and with the hobby being so rookie focused, its implication of this weekend is huge.
With 2016 being a historic year for rookie impact, this year has a lot to live up to. To be honest, the positions that look to be the strongest are not hobby friendly. Here are soe thoughts on the bigger names drafted so far.
Kind of an unusual situation with quarterbacks this year, mainly because there isnt many that look to be surefire starters with success in 2017. Most of the guys drafted early are projects, and Trubisky is no exception. Since this fucking trainwreck of a pick has been beat to death by the media who likely hate as much as Bears fans do, Trubisky is going to be a top value guy in the hobby until he gets on the field. IF he gets on the field. Chicago has a good following and should drive up his value at least early on. Hopefully he doesnt shit the bed once he gets the chance to play. Bears say he will sit for 2017, but that rarely happens.
Here are where his cards are sitting now that the draft is done:
2017 Contenders Draft Mitchell Trubisky Auto Ticket
2017 Elite Draft Mitch Trubisky Auto Green 2/5
2017 Leaf Metal Mitchell Trubisky Auto Green Refractor /10
The whole draft, all I wanted was for Fournette to avoid a hobby team like Jacksonville. Its a slow hobby death to match the on field potential. Even if the Jags somehow figure out how to be a good team in the NFL, the lack of following in the hobby will put a ceiling on potential. Additionally, the Jags are terrible. They may have spent a lot in free agency, but I just dont see the hobby latching on to a guy who plays for them. Hopefully the production gives a bit of a break.
Fournette has a Panini exclusive deal, so no Leaf, which is unfortunate:
2017 Contenders Draft Leonard Fournette Cracked Ice Auto /24
2017 Score Leonard Fournette Auto RC
For the wideouts in the draft, there were questions on which one would go first. There were 3 grouped at the top, and Tennessee felt confident enough in Davis to drop a top pick to get him. Considering this about where guys like Amari Cooper and others were drafted, Im not sure I see the same hype as we had in previous years. Davis looks like a great player, but without the major college following, he may not see the heights some of the other prospects will see.
Here is where he sits after the draft:
2017 Leaf Metal Corey Davis Superfractor Auto 1/1
2017 Score Corey Davis Green Auto /6
I think this was a great pickup for the Chargers, especially when you see they didnt miss out on the line help they needed in the second and third round. Williams looked like the best WR prospect hobby wise, and I think that having the LA collecting crowd engaged could help. The only issue is that its rare that a WR gets major hobby attention without national attention like OBJ got in 2014. We will have to see.
Has some good prices already:
2017 Leaf Ultimate Draft Mike Williams Auto RC /15
2017 Elite Draft Mike Williams Auto RC
I was shocked to see McCaffrey go before cook, especially with Cook’s skill set. Luckily it worked out in my favor by a considerable margin, and its going to be interesting to see how this pick works out. He could either be a great pass catching back who can run between the tackles, or adapt to the ever changing state of the running back position. Teams want versatile backs, and the Panthers will get a great one. He was already one of the top value guys in the class, and a high pick will only contribute further to the hype.
Nice action since the draft:
2017 Contenders Draft Christian McCaffrey / Andrew Luck Dual Auto
2017 Contenders Draft Christian McCaffrey Auto RC
Run on skill player talent doesnt stop with Ross, who was the fastest guy in combine history. Playing with AJ Green will be amazing, and Ross could end up being the best guy in the class. The hobby loves record breakers, and though it was a meaningless one, his speed will get him collector attention.
Panini sponsored this guy, which means he will be everywhere in 2017. Everyone watching the draft was probably wondering why he was sponsored by a Sandwich company, but that’s just how it goes. who looks like a bigger project than Paxton Lynch looked like last year. Not only that, but they have Alex Smith and traded up to get this. Because he was a top pick and a QB, he will automatically be valuable, but its going to be tough for him to get on the field anytime soon. This pick baffles me.
Personally, I think this guy looks like the top guy for the hobby in the class, and because he will DEFINITELY get a shot in Houston, its going to be better. I would be betting that he will be one of the only rookie week one starters, but he has to show a bit more work on some of the things that make him unattractive as a protypical NFL QB. Texans arent the best hobby team, and that sucks, but at least he isnt drafted in the second round where his value would deteriorate.
Im adding Cook to this list because he had some major value in the pre-draft cycle of products. Problem is his auto SUCKS and the Leaf signatures look weird compared to some of his in person authenticated examples. The Vikings got a steal at 41, but hobby potential with a shitty signature are severely limited. Their line also sucks balls, so he could end up stuffed more than often.
Having a deep offensive skill class in the first round will be a good thing before the season starts, even more so with people risking more on later round guys knowing that SOMEONE will break out as an impact contributor up front. The question is if there will be more than one from each group of top and late round players to support the way Panini continually builds products. If there is another 2013 on our hands, its not like they change anything in the way they produce sets. That’s the underlying problem, and it leaves it to the production on field to determine how this year shakes out. This is a WOW ME NOW hobby, not a long term play hobby, so gear up for a big year.