Right now, things are looking very good for the 2015 rookie class. There are two QBs that look to have the goods to be long term superstars in the NFL, as well as a deep class of supporting positions like WR and RB that also look to be QUITE the beastly group. Todd Gurley is putting up numbers usually reserved for people named Tomlinson and Peterson, and Amari Cooper is playing out of his mind. Its rare that you have 4 rookies with that kind of talent, and it might end up being the best class this decade when all is said and done. Yes, that includes 2012.
Draft Pick: 1st overall
Team: Bucs (3-5)
Stat line: 10TD, 7INT, 1897 yards, 84 QB rating
The Bucs had the choice between the two big names, and went with Winston because he played a game that was more likely to translate to the NFL. The issue was that the Bucs were terrible, and it impacted his ability to play well from the lack of a supporting cast. Doug Martin has had a renaissance, and Mike Evans has come around since being hurt. The hobby loves number one picks and everyone wanted Winston to kick ass this year. So far, he has played pretty damn well, including some nice wins. Lets just hope he continues to develop over the next few years, and doesnt turn out like other Superstars turned busts like Kaepernick and RGIII.
Here are what prices look like:
Draft Pick: 2nd overall
Team: Titans (2-6)
Stat line: 13TD, 5INT, 1610 yards, 101.5 QB rating
I think the Titans are finally getting the point that pundits have tried to reinforce for many years. Build a system around a QB instead of asking the QB to fit the existing system. The Titans havent asked him to do something he cant do, and he has played very well as a result. The defense and other parts of the team is atrocious, which lead to the coach getting canned, but Mariota was one bright spot. He was extremely popular in college in the hobby, and arguably was more of a superstar caliber player thanks to a lack of off the field issues. His cards have been atop the cost spectrum all year.
Mariota’s prices climb with each good game he has:
Draft Pick: 4th overall
Team: Raiders (4-4)
Stat line: 45 Rec, 653 yards, 4 TDs, 14.5 ypc
Of all the prospects in the 2015 draft, Cooper was believed to be the most pro ready. Boy, they werent kidding. It helps that Derek Carr is having a pro-bowl season, and the running game is coming along to help take the edge off the defense. Coming out of Alabama, he already had a huge following in the hobby, and now that he is lighting it up in Oakland, people are clamoring for his stuff.
Cooper has been high in value since before the season started:
Draft Pick: 10th overall
Team: Rams (4-4)
Stat line: 664 yards, 4 TD, 5.6 ypc
It has been a LOOOOOOOONG fucking time since the hobby has gotten excited about a Running back, and I could not be more excited. Considering that he missed the first few games of the year, the stats he has accumulated are of the same level of insanity that we saw with Beckham last year in a short year. Gurley looks incredible, and I hope that he can stay healthy and productive long term so the hobby realizes that not all running backs are disposable.
Gurley is the most recent RB to produce both on the field and in the hobby:
Stefon Diggs (Sleeper of the Year?)
Draft Pick: 146th overall
Team: Vikings 6-2
Stat line: 28 Rec, 461 yards, 2 TDs, 16.5 ypc
Like Gurley, Diggs didnt get a shot until a few games after the season started. As a late round pick the amount of playing time expected for someone like him was minimal, but he has emerged as a potential #1 receiver much like Antonio Brown did from late rounds in 2010. Considering that the Vikings have infamously struck out on so many WR, its cool to see them seemingly hit a home run. Even though Diggs may not keep it up, a fifth round pick is already worth the production he has given them. The hobby is catching on quick, and if his auto was better and his cards more SP, his stuff would probably be worth even more. He is a tier 3 rookie in many products, so he has a lot of early content available.
Diggs is creeping up as he becomes more involved with the Vikings passing game:
With two big products in Finest and Prizm hitting this week, its going to be interesting how some of these players’ cards really shake out. We are entering the period where many of the rookies biggest releases of the year will start to hit, and its a fun time to be a collector if your target is a top guy.