Now that the 2021 NFL Draft has been completed, the second guessing of picks can begin. And with quarterback Aaron Rodgers voicing his grievances with the Packers organization, all of a sudden everyone not named Aaron Rodgers has something to say. These are wild times around pro football. But they’re also exciting ones, especially for investors who use the news of the day to make sound card-buying decisions. The following NFL players haven’t directly made headlines over the past few days, but we see certain other moves having indirect effects on them, making them wise buys that others might be overlooking.
Jalen Hurts- 2019 Panini Prizm Silver PSA 10
That sound you hear is Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts loudly clapping in approval after Philadelphia moved up in this year’s draft to the 10th pick to grab Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner may have a slight physical frame (170 pounds after three Geno’s cheesesteaks), but his game is fun, fluid and multi-functional. New Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen should have a field day drawing up plays for him, Hurts, Jalen Reagor, Miles Sanders and the team’s other young talents.
In his four career starts late last season, Hurts put up averages of 229 passing yards and another 68 on the ground. The prospect of those numbers improving once the versatile Smith gets comfortable on the field are good. And when they do, Hurts’ 2019 Prizm Silver PSA 10, presently sitting around $1,300, will look like a bargain compared to the $2,000-plus heights it’s capable of reaching. Shop now >
A.J. Brown- 2019 Donruss Optic PSA 10
LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase is a super gifted receiver the Cincinnati Bengals couldn’t wait to snag with the draft’s 5th selection. Former Tiger Joe Burrow is going to love finding his old buddy on those 35-yard out routes. Leading up to the draft, expert analysts repeatedly said how much Chase reminded them of Tennessee Titans receiver A.J. Brown. They have a close build and a similar just-throw-it-up-and-I’ll-get-it mentality. The comparison seems spot on.
But, umm, what about the real A.J. Brown? Let’s put a pause on the praise for potential stars like Chase for a second. With Brown, we have real game footage against NFL defensive backs to look at. The dude was an absolute terror. Brown’s rookie season included four games of 100-plus receiving yards while his 11 receiving TDs were good enough for 5th in the league. With another year under his belt alongside QB Ryan Tannehill, Brown could join that next tier of elite wide receivers. And when that happens, this card, which has flirted with $150 before falling under $80 at press time, will likely see a significant bump. Shop now >
Calvin Johnson- 2007 Topps Chrome
We saw Peyton Manning’s face a few times on video segments during the 2021 NFL Draft’s first-round coverage. Experts love looking at Manning’s exceptional career as a possible path for No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence. But no matter what ESPN projects, it’s going to take several years before we know if the comparisons are accurate. For now, all we’re certain of is that Lawrence is on his way to the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that finished 1-15 a year ago. As for Manning, he’s on his way to the Hall of Fame in Canton.
Since we’ll be talking about the 2021 enshrinement class from now until the August ceremony, it would probably make sense to start investing in some of the honorees. Manning’s name, of course, is at the top of the list. That said, the wise investor might want to look elsewhere on the induction list for bargains, like, say, in Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson’s direction.
Dominant for much of nine seasons with the Lions, Johnson caught 731 passes, collected 11,619 yards and scored 83 receiving touchdowns. As we get closer to Hall of Fame weekend and people start to fully embrace those numbers or revisit his eye-popping highlights on YouTube, excitement surrounding this rookie card (hovering around $500 right now) will pick up. And when it does, hopefully, you’ll be around to catch some of the re-sell profits. Shop now >
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