The Joe Burrow rookie card market needs to be revisited now that the official comeback trail has begun. While the injury was certainly a big disappointment, we can’t help but feel optimistic. For starters, Joe Burrow answered any and all questions about whether or not his college success would translate to the gridiron of the NFL. In just over half a season of play, Burrow threw for nearly 2,700 yards and 13 TDs against only 5 interceptions. Additionally, he was able to post a solid rating of 89.8, a completion percentage of 65.3, and an average yards per game of nearly 270. And even though all of that amounted only to a 2-7-1 record, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone putting the Bengal’s record on Burrow.
Secondly, guys like fellow Bengals QB Carson Palmer have dealt with the same injury and came back even better! Point is, there’s a good chance Joe will be back and throwing the ball around as well as ever in 2021.
Random thought of the day: Did anyone think Justin Hebert would be making this big of an impact this early??
The Season That Made a Joe Burrow Rookie Card Possible
Look, the guy was never a scrub. But, not too long ago, he was a MUCH different Joe Burrow. Although talented enough to get recruited by Ohio State, Burrow became weary of riding the pine and decided to split after failing to come away with the starter’s gig (much to the dismay to all those rabid OSU fans aka “bucknuts”). And his destination, as we all know by now, the BIG BAYOU.
In his Junior year, Burrow started to resemble the player that was taken number 1 overall in the 2020 NFL draft. In his first season under center at LSU, Burrow began turning heads with 16 touchdowns through the air and another 7 on the ground. He also put up 2,894 passing yards with a 133.2 passer rating. Numbers good enough to lead the Tigers to a 10-3 record and a Fiesta Bowl victory over UCF. A good season indeed, but it wasn’t until the following year that he became THE Joe Burrow.
In 2019, Burrow started slingin’ touchdowns right off the bat with 5 against Georgia Southern. And he wouldn’t stop. Over the course of the next 14 games, Joe went on to throw 55 more touchdown passes on his way to an undefeated season. A season that ended with a spectacular 6 touchdown (1 on the ground) performance vs. Clemson and a hoisted Nation Championship Trophy. Oh, and he then went ahead and won the Heisman for good measure.
So it goes without saying, there’s going to be a built-in rookie card market for anyone capable of bursting onto the scene in this fashion. Here are some for your consideration!
Top Joe Burrow Rookie Cards
2020 Panini Prizm (Buy on eBay)
Might as well start off the list with that holds the most valuable collection of Joe Burrow rookie cards on the market. For instance, rare autographed parallels of the base card shown above are approaching $20,000 in value. And don’t forget about that Color Blast that can command more than $10,000. If you’re looking to go all-in on a 2021 Burrow bounce back, Panini Prizm is the set you should focus on. However, if you’ve got less than $1,000 to invest we recommend some of the more common Prizm variations without Joe’s autograph.
2020 Mosaic (Buy on eBay)
A relatively new set that is making some big-time WAVES is Mosaic. For example, some of the rare parallels from this collection have brought in well over $3,000. Talk about making an instant impact. Value aside, the cards are a treat to look at. Shiny and spectacular are two adjectives that come to mind.
2020 Donruss Optic (Buy on eBay)
Without a doubt, the Donruss Optics Downtown insert is one of our favorite Joe Burrow rookie card options. On top of the great looks, these carry good value with many sitting in that $1,000 range at the moment. You know how the song goes: “Things will be great when we’re DOWNTOWN!”
Not feeling the cartoon Bengal Tiger? There are plenty of great moderate-range investment options in the base set, just look for rare Prizms or an autograph.
2020 Panini Contenders (Buy on eBay)
Another great set for high-end cards with many autographed valued at well over $2,000. If you happen to purchase a hobby box, be on the lookout for a “redemption card” as shown above. If it says Joe Burrow on it you’ve likely got some serious cash on your hands. It’s only a matter of whether or not you want to wait through the long Panini redemption process or sell the redemption card to someone with more patience.
Joe Burrow Rookie Card Pre-NFL Options
Joe Burrow Rookie Cards from Panini Prizm Draft (Find Bargain on eBay)
If you’re looking to go big, Panini is the brand you want. So far the most valuable seems to be the rare parallels of the Panini Select set but the 2 Panini Prizms shown above are nothing to laugh at either. One shows Joe rolling out of the pocket (is that Justin Jefferson he’s looking for), while the other features a Burrow who appears ready for a big hit.
Other cards from Panini include their “Contender” and “Legacy” sets. Both have many different parallels and can bring in some serious cheddar. For instance, some of the rarest from the Contender set are selling for around $5,000.
Pre-NFL Options from Leaf (Buy on eBay)
When it comes to Leaf, the best Joe Burrow cards come from the Metal Draft and Ultimate Draft boxes. There’s a variety of different options here so it may be a good idea to keep it simple and just look for one in good condition with an autograph. Autograph or not, you’re gonna be spending FAR less than you would when buying a Joe Burrow rookie card made by Panini.
Joe Burrow Rookie Card Ohio State??
While they’re not common they do exist. For example, the one shown above from National Treasures features Joe standing tall in his Buckeye’s uniform looking for a receiver. As far as value goes there are many from this set available for less than $500. However, National Treasures isn’t the only set offering an OSU card. Keep your eyes open for ones from Flawless, Immaculate, and even Score!
Random Thought of the Day:
Would Joe Burrow come close to taking Justin Herbert’s ROY if not for the injury?
Joe Burrow Rookie Card Investment Strategies
Short (Less than 1 year)
An offseason purchase and a flip just before the season begins sounds like a winner to us as there will be no shortage of collector’s eyeing a Joe Burrow comeback. However, holding into the season is a bit riskier as it may take a few games to shake off the rust. However, by the season’s end, we expect the same old Joe. 8/10
Medium (1 to 5 years)
This remains our favorite of the 3 strategies. As we said even before the injury, holding out for some REAL success seems far more lucrative than selling after a good rookie season. While Joe didn’t pull off Rookie of the Year, that’s ok because ALL of these possibilities are on the table if you have a medium-term investment approach: MVP, playoffs, Super Bowl, Super Bowl MVP. For someone with Burrow’s talent, those achievements aren’t just wishful thinking. 9/10
Long (5 years plus)
If you’re going long, you’re hoping he bounces back from the injury (and whatever injuries he may sustain down the road for that matter) and reaches Montana, Brady, or Manning (Peyton, of course) status. Sure this may be possible, but an incredibly tall order nonetheless. Additionally, there should be plenty of great selling opportunities over the upcoming years that you won’t want to pass up. 5/10
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