Now that training camps are open for business, and the rookies are coming ever closer to getting their chance to show what they have, collectors have started to prospect their way through the class, determining targets for 2013. Im going to go through a few of the big rookies and talk about the approach I would take if I were in those shoes.
When you see the way the Jets organization is run, you wonder how they were so good for so long. Tebow was a train wreck, Sanchez has turned into a joke, and now they are saying Geno is going to be used as a change of pace. Talk about a deathwish for a rookie’s early career. Not only is the guy playing ahead of him not serviceable as a starter, but he has already spent most of his first national spotlight waiting around watching people drafted ahead of him. Confidence and skills aside, he has a great signature and collectors love the Jets, so he still has a chance.
I was SHOCKED, literally shocked that the Bills passed on Nassib and Smith to reach for Manuel. I get that they must have seen something they liked in him, or something they hated in the other guys, but I just dont see him performing at an elite level at any point in his career. Obviously that means little to collectors being that he was the only QB taken in the first round, but he is playing in Buffalo. That is just not a good situation for a guy to achieve top value. At least Christian Ponder had Peterson when the Vikings reached for him, but Manuel just doesnt have those same weapons.
I love players like him, mainly because of how many places you can put them on the field. More importantly, St Louis has NO ONE ELSE for Bradford to throw to. I was very surprised to see how low his cards are selling, and I think that of all the skill players in the draft, he will end up having the best career. he is fast, dynamic and has great hands, and is playing in a dome. You cant beat that. Im all over his potential, and I think that collectors should be too.
I think Houston is a great landing spot for Hopkins, as he has a good offense around him and he has Andre Johnson to be his mentor. However, he has a terrible signature which will decrease hobby value. If the injury bug continues to plague Houston’s receivers and Hopkins gets a shot at the number one slot, he looks like he could be a great receiver. For that reason alone, I might hold onto his cards with the understanding that he should see playoff time at the end of the year.
I was ecstatic when the Vikings drafted him, as I believe he could be a big part of our offense in two years. However, Vikings fans like me are rabid team collectors and we chase down our guys regardless of talent level. This has put up his value higher than it should be, and I doubt that he will have the production for it to hold up. Jennings is the top guy, and Peterson will get 30 carries a game, which means he will need Ponder to play like Aaron Rodgers to really get some good numbers on the board.
Verdict: Sell (to me)
Im not sure if there is a worse place for a running back to play than in Green Bay. Maybe New England. Lacy has already had injury concerns and didnt really blow up like Trent Richardson did or even Doug Martin in college. He is still one of the most valuable rookies in the class because of where he played and where he IS playing, but I am seeing more negativity about his ability to be a workhorse long term. I would unload his cards before he gets on the field, because I am not sure how well he will play to continue holding the residual value he is getting.
With Mendenhall gone, and no one else to fill the void, Bell should get SERIOUS looks as the number one back in Pittsburgh. I think that right now he has some value, but if he gets some early success, his value will jump. Considering how few options there are in Steeler city, this guy is probably the biggest guy I would pick up and now.
I was surprised he ended up lasting until the 3rd round, and I think he could end up being a very good QB. The Bucs are quickly losing confidence in Freeman, and if they tank their first 8 games, Glennon might be inserted to see what he can do. At that point, im sure the collecting world will be onto him, but he can be picked up now for nothing. He is less like a player we saw in RGIII and Kaepernick, but he is still a player that can be productive enough to see a value bump.
To think that no one was willing to take a flyer on Barkley until round four is shocking. He was a top 10 pick if he comes out in 2012, but after a poor season with no one around him, he falls like a rock. Both Foles and Vick are not long term answers in Philly, so Barkley will eventually get some snaps, even if its down the road a few years. His cards are really cheap right now because of where he was drafted, but Chip Kelly has a rep of being an offensive genius. Im intrigued to see what happens with him.
I cant even tell you all how excited I am for the start of the season, and seeing the first products of the year has gotten me back into the swing of things. Although this isnt even close to the value of products in 2012, its looking like 2013 will be a fun year.