The 2011 NFL Draft is over and now collectors can begin to sort out who will make an impact in a lockout shortened off-season that may extend well into the summer and fall. Several QB's were picked much higher then anticipated and that could send prices for autograph rookie cards higher for Jake Locker and Christian Ponder.
With multiple 2011 football card sets already on the market, collectors have a wide array of choices. Perhaps the best value, in terms of buying a $20 Blaster Box, are the Sage Hit cards that have 2 autographs per box. Neither Upper Deck or Press Pass guarantee hits in their $20 boxes. The Sage cards are not the best looking, in fact, some look down right hideous. But the autographs are straight forward - sticker with athlete picture - and they are the only reason to bust a retail box of Sage Hit. I wouldn't waste my time with a UD or Press Pass Blaster Box - just pick up singles on the secondary market.
The products that appear to be selling the best are 2011 Leaf Metal Draft and 2011 Upper Deck Football. A Cam Newton Blue #/25 Autograph RC from '11 Leaf Metal sold for $225.83 on April 24. Newton's autograph from Upper Deck, believed to be short printed, sells for around $160.00. If it were me - I'd be looking to purchase guys who were picked in 2010 as they might be able to make more of an impact in '11 then incoming rookies. With the prospects of training camp, preseason and perhaps a few regular season games in jeopardy because of the lockout - many 2011 rookies may not have enough time to digest the playbook and get serious playing time. If one of these 2011 rookie NFL QB's busts out and plays well - I'd be really surprised, which means there might be plenty of buying opportunities during the season. Below is a video of a 2011 Sage Hit High Series Football Blaster Box. It's interesting that the autographs are not inserted into packs - but come in there own separate wrapper.
More information on 2011 Sage Hit Low/High Series