With the OTHER Crimson Tide receiver being overshadowed by 2020 Heisman Trophy Winner Devonta Smith, some collectors may be caught snoozing on the Jaylen Waddle rookie card market. While Devonta surely deserves the attention, it could be a big mistake to forget about Waddle. In case you forgot, Jaylen Waddle established himself one of the most dominant forces in college football in 2020 before going down to a devastating ankle injury. Before being sidelined the junior wideout had 28 catches for 591 yards in just 5 games.
And while 2020 was his breakout season, it was long before then that the signs of a star were apparent. In his freshman year in 2018, Waddle burst into the scene by catching 45 passes for 848 total receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. Then in 2019, Waddle averaged 17 yards a catch and caught 6 TD passes as a sophomore. With glimpses of that speed and sheer athletic ability, one could look back and think the 2020 breakout was obvious.
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Jaylen Waddle Big Game Performances
In addition to the big plays, Waddle has had many BIG GAMES. On September 29th, 2018, he had three receptions for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns against Louisiana. He also returned a punt 63 yards in that same game. Later in Alabama’s 35-28 win over Georgia in the 2018 SEC Championship, Jaylen Waddle had four receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown. And during his final season at Alabama, Jaylen Waddle would own the Georgia Bulldogs once again. On October 17th, 2020, Waddle had 6 receptions for a whopping 161 yards and a touchdown for good measure as the Tide easily dispensed of their SEC East rivals.
After being drafted BEFORE the 2020 Heisman winner and teammate Devonta Smith there is no doubt that Jaylen Waddle’s stock is on the rise. And with his stock on the rise, the value of Jaylen Waddle rookie cards is sure to follow. Here are his best cards on the market so far!
Top 3 Jaylen Waddle Rookie Card Early Releases
2021 Wild Card (Buy on eBay)
This card’s simple matte design serves to give the background a gritty and grungy feel. As a result, the photo of Jaylen Waddle stands as the dominant force behind this card. He appears to be off to the races, illustrating Waddle’s ability to gain yards after the catch. Will he make the endzone? You better believe it! At any rate, the card makes you feel like Waddle is about to burst onto the scene in a BIG way come the 2021 NFL season.
As far as values go, the rarest autographed cards sell for around $100 while the more common non-autos can be picked up for under $10.
2021 Panini Contenders (Buy on eBay)
One’s eyes cannot help but notice the light border design combined with hues of red from the jerseys of Mac Jones and Jaylen Waddle. As a result, it’s almost impossible to not be drawn to the big blue signatures of BOTH first-round picks. The dual-auto card with Mac Jones from this set is going to be the most valuable with prices ranging from a few hundred bucks to over $1,000. Meanwhile, the Panini Contenders College Ticket autograph of just Waddle makes for a perfect play for those looking to spend less than $50.
2021 Score (Buy on eBay)
One cannot help but love the card’s old-school feel. This can be seen by the simplistic layout that allows one to focus on the action shot of Jaylen Waddle hauling in a pass in front of a roaring home crowd. Doesn’t get any more down-to-earth than that! We love the autographed base card shown above for right around $100. Additionally, there are various rare autographed parallels if you’re looking to invest more. On the flip side, the best play for under $10 is no doubt the 1991 Rookie Throwback.
Another Reason to Consider a Jaylen Waddle Rookie Card: Deep Threat Ability
Jaylen Waddle’s speed and ability to haul in deep passes with regularity make him an instant threat in the NFL. In fact, one could argue that he was the best deep threat receiver in college throughout his career. During time with Alabama, 4 out of every 5 passes Waddle caught went for over 20 yards. In his senior season, he caught 85% of all passes thrown to him that were 20 yards or greater. Talk about a comfort blanket for 2nd year QB Tua Tagovailoa.
Speaking of Miami’s second-year QB…..
Jaylen Waddle Rookie Card Investment Strategy
Short (1 year or less)
With the electrifying Tua delivering the ball, we can’t help but see big things coming for Jaylen Waddle. Miami wasn’t far off from being a force in the playoffs in 2020 and their new burner of a first-year receiver just may be the catalyst that sends them to the next level. 8/10
Medium (1 to 3 years)
Even if Tua and Waddle don’t click right away we’re confident they’ll figure it out in due time. There’s simply too much talent there. Expect a deep playoff run at some point in the not-too-distant future. 8/10
Long (3 years plus)