The No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Tua Tagovailoa entered his rookie season hoping to get the Miami Dolphins back on track. Tagovailoa finished with just 11 TD passes in an injury-shortened rookie campaign, but remains one of the top buys from his class.
Tagovailoa has dozens of rookie cards from across the 2020 season, so use the Sports Card Investor guide to see which ones we think you should focus on. Cards are broken down into tiers, ranging from the most affordable and more popular options to the most unique, expensive and rare.
The Value Tier Includes cards with high print runs or lower-quality cardstock. A good fit for new collectors or those on a limited budget.
Absolute #194: Known for its mid-tier hobby boxes in basketball, Absolute also saw retail formats for football in 2020. Retail configurations weren’t super notable overall, but did feature the extremely popular Kaboom! insert set. Tagovailoa’s base card is a cheap purchase, while his Kaboom! will be a higher-end buy. Shop now >
Contenders #103: One of Panini’s most popular value products, Contenders is best known for its Rookie Ticket Autographs. Part of the Rookie Ticket RPS set, Tagovailoa has dozens of on-card autographs to chase, including acetate and cracked ice variations. Shop now >
Donruss #302: A flagship product from Panini, Donruss is one of the most popular sets year-over-year. Tagovailoa’s Rated Rookie is the main draw here, but he can also be found in the White Hot Rookies Auto checklist as well as the Rookie Gridiron Kings insert set. Shop now >
This tier includes cards from the most popular sets across both retail and hobby formats. Typically easy to buy or sell when needed.
Mosaic #203: After a strong standalone set debut in basketball, Mosaic made the jump to football as well in 2020. Tagovailoa doesn’t get much love from Mosaic’s impressive lineup of inserts, but does have plenty of image variations and parallels to keep rainbow chasers satisfied. Shop now >
Optic #152: The usual chrome upgrade to Donruss, Optic is another chance to get one of Tagovailoa’s signature Rated Rookies. Tagovailoa’s Rated Rookie Auto is a major chase in this set while the Optic Holo has become one of the most popular parallels in the hobby. Shop now >
Prizm #339: This set’s extreme popularity in basketball has bled into football for 2020, and Tagovailoa’s Prizm Base was one of the hottest cards when released. The Prizm Silver has become the parallel to have in the hobby while Tagovailoa also makes appearances in the rare Color Blast and Stained Glass insert sets. Shop now >
Select #45: Built around its tiered rookie cards — Concourse, Premier Level, Club Level and Field Level — Select made its retail debut with football in 2020 to extreme popularity. Tagovailoa has plenty of autos, die-cuts and patches here to complement rare parallels like Tie-Dye and Zebra. Shop now >
MORE UNIQUE ROOKIES:
This tier Includes cards with lower print runs, unique designs, or cards from hobby-only products. Usually higher-quality cards than the Value or Popular Tiers, though not necessarily more popular or easier to buy or sell.
Obsidian #103: Known for its unique black background, Obsidian is also where you can find short-printed patches, autos and more. Obsidian also puts its own spin on the Color Blast insert in 2020, featuring a black background instead of the typical white. Shop now >
One #2: True to its name, Panini’s One features a single card per box with base cards numbered to just 99. Considered by some collectors to be one of the best products from 2020, One features high-end RPAs fit for any collection. Shop now >
Phoenix #102: One of Panini’s more unique products, Phoenix offers a number of slick parallels, including the Fire Burst parallels exclusive to Fanatics Factory Sets. Tagovailoa is also featured in the Flame Throwers and Rookie Rising insert sets. Shop now >
RAREST AND MOST EXCLUSIVE:
We won’t spend much time here because this category is likely out of reach for most collectors due to price, but they are still fun to look at.
Sets like Flawless, Immaculate and National Treasures typically feature visually stunning designs and low-numbered cards.
This is also where you’ll find the most impressive patches paired with high-quality on-card autographs. Don’t worry if this tier is too pricey as there’s plenty of options in other categories that could be perfect for your collection.
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