When it comes to the Tua Tagovailoa rookie card market, Leaf and Panini jumped out to a fast start. The two brands are known for coming to the market QUICKLY with “rookie cards” featuring recent draft picks in their college uniforms. Take these Joe Burrow rookie cards for example. As you can see, both brands know how to grab the bull by the horns.
However, now we’re starting to see some new sets enter the fray. Hello Donruss and Mosaic, thanks for finally joining the party! That said, we figure now is a good time for an update on some of the other Tua Tagovailoa rookie card options that are beginning to surface.
In addition to the new Tua Tagovailoa rookie card releases, there’s an even better reason to revisit this investment option: the man now has some real NFL experience under his belt! And judging by how it’s gone so far, you’ve got to feel pretty good about buying in. While Tua’s first game was fairly uneventful, we saw the young QB answer many questions in his second and third starts of the season. Tagovailoa now has now connected on 5 touchdown passes without being touched up by an interception. On top of that, he carries a rating of over 104 for the year. And most importantly of all, he’s yet to lose a game.
We’re about to get to those cards but bear with us just a minute longer because it’s important to reflect on a college career that makes Tua’s early NFL success come as no surprise.
Tua Tagovailoa: The College Years
Tua Tagovailoa burst onto the scene when he received the call to relieve the ineffective Jalen Hurts in the 2018 National Championship game vs Georgia. And Tua answered that call, in a BIG way. After his predecessor spotted the Bulldogs a 13 point lead going into the 3rd quarter, Tua slowly but surely pulled the Tide back into contention. With only 3:49 left on the clock, the true freshman found Calvin Ridley in the end zone to force overtime. And with the game on the line in OT, Tua rose to the occasion with a game-winning 41-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith.
After the heroics of his freshman season, Tua was thirsty for an encore in 2018-2019. Now with the confidence of a sophomore, Tua made it look easy all season long with the only real scare coming from that pesky Georgia team he faced in the championship the year before. But when it came time to play for another title, it was yet again time for a true freshman to take center stage. To put things lightly, Tua Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide had absolutely no answer for Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers. Final score 44-16.
The already jaw-dropping college resuming continued in the 2019-2020 season. Tagovailoa seemed ready to make yet another playoff run before being cut down in the 2nd quarter of a blowout win vs Miss St. The brutal dislocated hip prevented Tua from seeing the college field ever again and put an end to what was shaping up to be an outstanding season.
Strange but true: Tua Tagovailoa’s most valuable rookie cards are already stacking up to some of the most valuable football cards of the 1980s!
Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Card: Top Options So Far
Donruss Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Card Standouts (Buy on eBay)
Some of the most valuable you’ll find are without a doubt the Donruss Optics. On top of valuable, they’re just great looking cards. Some of the rarest have been selling for between $1,000 and $2,000 of late.
Speaking of great looking cards, the “Downtown” Donruss cards may be the greatest looking for all time. Period. And that goes for any sport, not just football. Just take a look at this one featuring Kyler Murray. We rest our case. That said, these have been turning up in case breaks all over the place lately so now be a good time to jump on one.
Mosaic Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Card Standouts (Buy on eBay)
There are all kinds of styles to choose from here. For instance, the autograph versions feature Tua looking downfield ready to throw on the run (or perhaps take off and pick up an easy 25 on the ground!). So far these are the most valuable.
If you’re not looking to make that big of an investment try going for some of the more common no auto Prizms. These show Tua standing in the pocket looking to throw a strike downfield. Additionally, the NFL Debut Mosaic parallels are making a BIG splash. Like we said, plenty of choices from Mosaic.
Panini Select (Buy this Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Card on eBay)
As with many young quarterbacks, Panini Select seems to be a favorite among collectors. There’s plenty of parallels available but the incredibly scarce have been sold for well over $2,000. Don’t let that scare you though. There’s plenty of options that you can pick up for way less than that.
Panini Prizm (Find Bargain on eBay)
When it comes to Tua Tagovailoa rookie cards made by Panini, the most valuable are Contender and Prizms. As far as the Prizms go, you can find a number of high-end cards. These include the Panini Prizm Gold “Cracked Ice”, the Panini Prizm Silver, the Panini Prizm Draft, and Panini Prizm “College Ties”. There are all sorts of variations to choose from but some of the highest/rarest are going at auction for around $1,000. Oh, and by the way, those are UNGRADED!
Panini Contender (Find Bargain on eBay)
Panini’s “Contender” cards can be just as valuable as some of the high-end Prizms. The hottest right now seems to be the “College Ticket” card which comes in a variety of different styles. Additional variations include “School Colors”, “Game Day Ticket”, and “Draft Picks”. No matter which way you turn, chances are you’ll have a card many collectors will be jealous of.
Leaf Metal Draft (Find Bargain on eBay)
While the Tua Tagovailoa rookie cards from Leaf aren’t as pricey as the some of Panini’s we just spoke about, they’re certainly nothing to scoff at. For instance, ungraded Leaf Metal Draft cards can be found going for nearly $500. Just wait until we start seeing some 10 grades hit the market!
Leaf Ultimate Draft (Find Bargain on eBay)
These don’t seem to be as valuable as their “Metal” counterparts. However, what they lack in value, they certainly make up for in style. The cards feature solo shots of Tua dropping back to pass with that deadly accurate left arm. Collectors who decide to hold for the long term can only hope that arm is just as accurate against NFL competition.
Tua Tagovailoa rookie card Score?
There sure is! While Score certainly isn’t the set preferred by the industry whales, it’s a perfect option for collectors who are looking to get in at a reasonable price. For instance, the card shown above is a Gold parallel with a print run of just ten and comes with an autograph. When you hear stuff like that you automatically start seeing dollar signs. However, this rare card from Score can still be purchased for under $500. How’s that for taking away a barrier to entry!
After seeing him the exciting Chargers quarterback play, some pundits are second-guessing Miami’s decision to go with Tua over Herbert. Might be a good time to check out these Justin Herbert rookie cards!
Tua Tagovailoa Rookie Card Investment Strategies
Short (1 year or less)
This appears to be the safest play right now. Tua has answered many questions in his first 3 starts but it’s still incredibly early in his career. Until we see more to confirm what we expect, the short term strategy is our favorite option. As of right now, the Dolphins are looking like bonafide contenders. Consider holding for a playoff push if you’re not tempted by the profits before that happens. Either way, it seems short term profits are inevitable at this point. 10/10
Medium (1 to 5 years)
There are a variety of factors that should go into this decision. However, above all, you should ask yourself how much you believe in Tua. Is he the next Steve Young (he’s actually kinda similar besides just the whole left-handed thing). Or will he make like fellow Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and fade into the world of back up QB obscurity? We tend to think the Young comparison is more likely. However, the McCarron outcome is gonna cost you BIG TIME. Both with the money you invested and the short term profits you passed upon. High risk, high reward. 6.5/10
Long (5 years plus)
Thinking more than 5 years on a QB that hasn’t even taken his first NFL snap is something we’d never consider. Therefore, we won’t waste ink on it (digital ink, that is). 1/10