Zach Wilson Rookie Card Market Guide
Posted on 6/19/2022
Zach Wilson has had a rocky start to his early NFL career, but how does this impact the value of his rookie cards? Our complete guide will show you some of the best cards to look for if you want to invest.
Who Is Zach Wilson?
Zach Wilson has been the quarterback for the New York Jets since they picked him second overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. At the time, he was considered a top prospect after a successful college career at Brigham Young University, but his first two professional seasons were marred by injury and poor performances.
In early games during the 2021 season, there was a lot of excitement about Wilson. But after 20 career starts, and the arrival of future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers in New York this offseason, Wilson’s career looks like it might have come to a screeching halt.
Unfortunately, his off-the-field issues have not helped him either. He has also missed several games in his first two seasons due to injury. Between the poor performances, injuries and off-the-field issues, his first two years in the NFL have been a disappointment. However, Wilson will still only be 24 years old as the 2023 season begins. So, it is too early to write off the talented QB and this could be the right time to invest in his rookie cards while prices have decreased in recent months.
What Makes Zach Wilson's Cards So Valuable?
Popular players with hugely successful careers tend to have valuable cards. Good personalities can also add to the desirability of cards over time. But if Zach Wilson continues playing as he did in his first two seasons, it is unlikely he will be remembered as a top player. He has also rubbed fans the wrong way with his attitude toward his performance, while not taking accountability for his poor play at times. So, does that mean his cards are not valuable?
It is difficult to tell because there are no clear rules. Even if it is for the wrong reasons, Wilson is a notable player, and some of his cards can sell for high prices. Some fans like controversy, which can make players more memorable, meaning their cards may hold value. Only time will tell whether Wilson's cards maintain their value.
Zach Wilson rookie cards may be a risk for investors because of his rocky start in the NFL. If his performance picks up and he lives up to his potential, he could still have a successful career. In this case, his cards could be sought-after by collectors, and the value will reflect that. Many of Wilson’s rookie cards are affordable, perhaps because of the uncertainty about his future. There are some expensive premium cards to invest in, too, if you are willing to assume more risk.
Best Zach Wilson Rookie Cards to Look Out For
2021 National Treasures Rookie Patch Autographs #157 Zach Wilson - #'d/99 ($4,232)
The Panini National Treasures set is an excellent place to start if you want extremely valuable cards. This premium collection features many amazing, autographed cards and patches, including this Zach Wilson RPA. It is numbered to 99, so although limited, it is possible to find it. It has a large patch bordered by a great action shot of Wilson, with a crisp autograph along the bottom. The design is not as flashy as some of the other Zach Wilson RPAs, like the Gold Standard, but it's one of the more valuable rookie cards out there.
According to PriceGuide.Cards, the price varies, and the highest recorded sale was an impressive $55,338, but many sold for far less. The source gives an average top value of $4,232, which is undoubtedly at the top end of Zach Wilson's rookie cards. There are only five recorded sales in 2021, with an average Ungraded value of around $220. This suggests a significant increase in value but be aware that this is a very new card with limited sales data.
In fact, so far in 2023, the Ungraded average dropped even further to just below $100. Yet, RPAs tend to be popular with collectors and if you are looking for a valuable card to invest in, this might just be you best bet in the long run if Wilson proves his doubters wrong.
2021 Donruss Downtown #34 Zach Wilson ($1,070)
The rare Downtown inserts come in the Panini Donruss sets. They are often sought-after by collectors for their fun design and limited availability. Downtown cards feature an artistic sketch of the players instead of a photograph, with a background illustration representing the team they play for. The Zach Wilson Donruss Downtown rookie card shows him standing in the cockpit of a plane to represent the New York Jets.
These stylized cards could be a sensible choice for investors because they are usually popular and different from all other rookie cards. They're also very valuable, with an overall value of just over $1,000. Similar to the National Treasures card, the Downton insert has fluctuated in value. In 2021, the average Graded value was listed at $405, but it jumped to over $1,100 by 2022. Yet, in 2023, the average Graded value has plummeted to just over $350.
2021 Panini Prizm #332 Zach Wilson ($760)
Panini Prizm has an extensive base set with many colored parallels and some great inserts. You'll find all kinds of Zach Wilson rookie card parallels to collect, but the base card is a great option too. The striking image of Wilson throwing is set on a simple silver foil backing with the Prizm logo along the top.
According to SportsCardsPro, the average value of this card in Mint condition is only $17. But the price fluctuates a lot, and it can sell for quite a bit more under the right conditions. For example, PriceGuide.Cards lists a maximum sale price of $760 in 2022. This is another card that collectors may want if they are interested in Zach Wilson rookie cards, especially since the Prizm series is a collector favorite.
2021 Mosaic Draft Picks Autographs #AM-ZW Zach Wilson ($730)
2021 was the first year for Panini Mosaic Draft Picks, so cards from this set may be more attractive to collectors in the future. The set shows rookies in their collegiate uniforms, which adds a bit of variety to your collection. The standard card is worth buying, but serious investors should search for the autographed version, as it is more valuable. The design is simple, but the foil backing, and blue ink autograph, make it unique.
This is a more affordable signed card, with Ungraded copies selling for $94, Grade 9 selling for $89 and Gem Mint 10 selling for around $730. The value of this card spiked in 2021 and then dropped again the following year, where it has remained steady. But there is a recorded sale for $999 in 2022, so it does have the potential to go up in price. Any investors looking for a more attainable autographed Zach Wilson rookie card should look for this Panini Mosaic Draft Picks card.
2021 Contenders Optic Rookie Ticket Autograph #102 Zach Wilson ($495)
Panini Contenders Optic features some of the most popular autographed cards for many collectors. The Rookie Ticket Autograph cards mimic a real-life game ticket, complete with seat numbers. The exciting design and the autograph make this a standout among Zach Wilson's rookie cards.
SportsCardsPro values the card at $495 in Mint condition, but Ungraded sells for around $60. Considering the popularity of the Rookie Ticket Autograph cards, this card has the potential to hold its value very well. Future collectors building a Zach Wilson set will likely want this card, but without much sales data outside of 2022, it is difficult to determine precisely how much the value has increased.
2021 Donruss Elite #181 Zach Wilson - Gold #'d/10 ($125)
Donruss Elite is a long-running set with some great autographs and parallels to search for. This Zach Wilson rookie card from the popular set has many parallels, including some that are more valuable than others. The parallels vary in availability, but the Gold insert is the hardest to find. It is numbered to only 10, making it rare and potentially desirable for collectors. In general, cards with limited availability tend to hold their value well. The design of this card is exciting, too, as it shows an image of Wilson without his helmet on and has a green and gold foil backing.
Sales data on this card is minimal. PriceGuide.Cards does not list any sales, and SportsCardsPro shows one sale of an Ungraded card in 2021 for $125. It is hard to determine how the value has changed since the card was released and what impact the condition might have. However, Panini Donruss Elite cards can be very popular, especially the vibrant parallels. Limited availability can also increase the value of cards, so this Gold Parallel is still worth looking for.
2021 Donruss Rated Rookies #252 Zach Wilson ($115)
If you want an affordable Zach Wilson rookie card that is likely to be popular with collectors, the 2021 Donruss Rated Rookie is a good option. Rated Rookies have a classic feel, but even though they lack premium design features, the iconic logo makes them instantly recognizable.
The average price of this card is only $27, and it should be easy to find. However, it has sold for upward of $115, according to PriceGuide.Cards. The value has remained steady since the card was released, so although it may not give you a huge return, it could be a low-risk investment. When investing in rookie cards, it's a good idea to pick up some basic staples alongside the flashier cards, and Rated Rookies fulfill that perfectly.
2021 Score Rookies Die Cut #304 Zach Wilson - #'d/10 ($45)
Panini Score is often one of the earliest releases of the season. It's popular because it has many cards and is affordable, so Zach Wilson rookie cards from this set should be easy to come by. The base cards and many of the parallels are worth very little, but there are some interesting ones to look for. The Die Cut version of his rookie card is numbered to only 10, so it is rarer than others from this set. The card has a foil backing and some cut-out sections from the sides, giving it a more interesting shape.
SportsCardsPro and PriceGuide.Cards only list a single sale in 2022 for $45. So, making solid predictions about the card's value is tough. However, that's a low price for a card with only 10 copies, and if Wilson goes on to have a successful career, it could be valuable in the future. Either way, the risk is low, so it is worth picking up if you can.
Where Can I Purchase Zach Wilson Rookie Cards?
Now that you have a list of the best Zach Wilson rookie cards to look for, you may be wondering where to buy them. Although some collectors still buy and sell in hobby shops or at conventions, most of the market is online. There is excellent availability on auction sites, and it is easy to search for the specific card you want. Here are some of the best online auctions to try:
- PWCC Marketplace
- Goldin Auctions
How Are Zach Wilson Rookie Cards Graded?
Always check that a Zach Wilson rookie card has been graded before you buy it. A grade from a professional body like Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG) determines the card's condition and, in many cases, the price. Cards are given a grade out of 10 based on several criteria. If a card scores well, it is likely to sell for more. The grading criteria are:
- Centering of the image
- The sharpness of the corners
- Damage to the edges
- Clarity of the surface
A card that scores the maximum in every area is awarded a Perfect 10. This indicates that the card could not be in better condition. Cards can still achieve an overall average of 10 and be considered Mint condition. These cards tend to be far more valuable than those displaying some damage. That said, cards with minor damage still score an eight or nine and can be worth good money.
After the card is graded, it is encased in a protective plastic slab. The materials are specially chosen to highlight the features on the card, so it acts as a display case while also maintaining the condition. You also receive a certificate to prove the card has been professionally graded. For further information on CSG's 10-point Grading Scale and to find out more about our industry-leading services, visit CSGcards.com.
Zach Wilson rookie cards are not a sure thing since his career could fall flat before it gets off the ground. But there are some great cards with low price points, so if you want to gamble, it may be worth buying some in case things turn around and he becomes successful as a pro quarterback.
*Any mention of "investment potential" is for entertainment only and should not be construed as investment advice. The Certified Collectibles Group does not provide investment advice and is not liable for any buy, sell or trade decisions made by any parties.
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