Jaylen Waddle Rookie Card Market Guide

Posted on 10/3/2023

Want to invest in a Jaylen Waddle rookie card? Read our market guide to learn about his best cards and information about their value for investors.

Jaylen Waddle has had a successful opening few seasons with the Dolphins, but are his rookie cards worth buying? Our market guide will show you some of his best cards. It also has detailed information about current market values so you can make informed investment decisions.

Who Is Jaylen Waddle?

Jaylen Waddle is a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins who was selected sixth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. In his first season, he already set an NFL record for the most receptions by a rookie. He finished the season with 104 receptions for 1,015 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s gone on to have two more productive regular seasons in Miami, reaching at least 1,000 yards in each of his pro seasons to date and catching a minimum of 72 passes and at least four touchdowns each season so far.

Fans also came to recognize his signature penguin waddling celebration, inspired by his surname. This touch of personality and humor goes a long way for new players trying to establish themselves and build some rapport with spectators. Although he is relatively inexperienced, Waddle has already broken records in his rookie season and been productive all three seasons of his pro career, so there is plenty of expectation for his NFL future.

What Makes Jaylen Waddle's Cards So Valuable?

Jaylen Waddle's rookie cards are not that expensive since he is a young player in the NFL still establishing himself. But some rarer cards are already commanding high prices, especially numbered parallels. The cards' rarity has some part in this, but Waddle has already proven himself to be an excellent player. Generally, celebrated players with a good record have the most valuable cards. So, if Waddle's career continues as it started, there is a possibility that he will be one of the greats. This potential may push the value of his cards up, even in the early stages of his career.

Investment Potential

Purchasing cards of a player in their first few seasons is always a risk. There is no telling whether they will go on to have a fantastic career or fade away, and nobody will be interested in their cards. But there are plenty of affordable Waddle rookie cards and options for more expensive ones if you are willing to take a risk. His track record suggests that he will be a notable player in years to come, and his cards may reflect that. Although his cards are a gamble, the risk is relatively low, and you have many choices, so you can decide how much you want to invest.

Best Jaylen Waddle Rookie Cards

2021 Panini Donruss Optic Downtown Jaylen Waddle #37 ($1,400)

Donruss Optic Downtown cards are very popular inserts with collectors. The vibrant and playful designs along with the use of illustrations rather than photos make the series stand out. The underwater background cartoon represents the Dolphins, with a dynamic drawing of Waddle over the top. As always with the Optic set, it also has a shiny chrome finish to it. Cards from this set could hold their value well for several reasons.

First, the Downtown design is unlike any other Waddle rookie card you can find. Second, it's a small set of just 40 total Downtown cards, and exclusivity can push prices up. The average price reflects that and SportsCardsPro estimates it to be worth $595 on average in Gem Mint 10 condition.

PriceGuide.Cards lists a maximum sale of $1,400 in 2022. Although this is well above average, it suggests the value could increase in due time. This is a sound card for investors that could bring a healthy return in the future.

2021 Panini Donruss Optic Rookie Kings #RK-8 Jaylen Waddle - Black Pandora #'d/25 ($800)

This is another variation on the Panini Donruss Optic set. The Rookie Kings inserts feature 20 rookies, pictured sitting atop a throne, with several parallel sets available. You can find Gold, White Sparkle and Autographs, but the Black Pandora variation is the most valuable. It has an average Ungraded price of $208, according to SportsCardsPro, and if the card is in Gem Mint 10 condition, it could fetch up to $800.

PriceGuide.Cards has a record of it selling for $699.99. The card is numbered to 25, and this rarity may push the price up in the future. The card is a brilliant choice if you are looking for a great Waddle rookie that is unique and rare but still attainable. The rest of the parallels are notable too, but this might just be the most sought-after.

2021 Panini Donruss Downtown #37 Jaylen Waddle ($800)

The Optic version of this card is more valuable, but you should still look for the standard Donruss Downtown Jaylen Waddle rookie card too. The design is the same, but this one doesn't have the chrome finish, so it's slightly less flashy. Still, it's a unique card and has much of the same appeal as the Optic version.

Based on past sales, SportsCardsPro shares that Ungraded versions sell for around $375 on average and can sell for around $600 in perfect condition. PriceGuide.Cards gives it an average Ungraded value of $234, so there is some fluctuation in price and evidence that the price could increase. However, their highest recorded sale is $800, much less than the $1,400 for the Optic version. But this card could still maintain value well and give a good return for investors, so it may be worth picking up, even if it isn't quite as valuable as the Optic Downtown.

2021 Panini Select Rookie Signatures #RS-JWA Jaylen Waddle - Green Prizm Die Cut #’d/5 ($550)

Autographed cards are an excellent place to start when looking for Jaylen Waddle rookie cards. Some signed rookies are already selling well and could significantly increase in value. There are numerous inserts in the Panini Select sets for 2021, including the Rookie Signatures line. It contains signed cards from the season's best rookies, with many parallels to collect.

The base Select Rookie Signatures Jaylen Waddle is a decent card, but if you want value and investment potential, look for some of the more expensive parallels. The Green Prizm Die Cut is one of the most valuable versions of the card, with only five copies made and an average price of $550, according to SportsCardsPro. It's a visually exciting card, die-cut into a horseshoe shape, with a vibrant foil backing. At the center is an image of Waddle and an unmistakable signature.

There is only one recorded sale on SportsCardsPro for this card, and other sites show no sales data. So, you may have to be patient to get a copy of this card or a similar low print parallel from the same series. That said, it may be worth the investment because it is a unique card and currently one of the market's most valuable Waddle rookie cards.

2021 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph #106 Jaylen Waddle ($240)

The Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autograph cards are designed to look like an actual ticket with seat and row numbers. The distinctive design appeals to fans and could help it hold its value. It has a large photo of Waddle on the field, with a big autograph front and center.

In Ungraded condition, it sells for an average of $64, Grade 8 at $47, Grade 9 at $112 and Grade 9.5 at $191. Pristine cards can go for upwards of $240, but not many are sold. However, in the right market conditions, you may be able to turn a profit on this card. If you hold onto it and the value of Waddle rookie cards rises over time. It could make a good investment since the entry price isn't that high for an autographed card.

2021 Panini Donruss Optic Rookie Kings #RK-8 Jaylen Waddle ($225)

The base version of the Panini Donruss Optic Rookie Kings Jaylen Waddle rookie card is not as valuable as the Black Pandora parallel, but it may still be a good investment. It has the same striking design with an image of Waddle sitting on a throne and a foil backing, but the coloring differs from the Black Pandora. It's still a fun card that is unique enough to catch the attention of collectors in the future, and it has sold for a reasonable price.

According to SportsCardsPro, sales data shows the card can sell for around $200. PriceGuide.Cards show sales between $50 and $225. Interestingly, most of the sales they list are of Ungraded cards. In the future, as more cards are graded, the value of good condition examples may increase. So, it could be sensible to invest before this happens.

2021 Panini Donruss #263 Jaylen Waddle ($33)

Panini Donruss is another set that usually performs well. We have already looked at the expensive variations and parallels, but you should also find this base card. The Jaylen Waddle rookie card is a Rated Rookie, complete with the striking blue logo in the top left corner. This may boost the value because it differentiates it from the other rookie cards. With an average price of around $11 and a top price of $33 for Gem Mint 10 cards, there is no reason not to pick this card up.

2021 Panini Mosaic #248 Jaylen Waddle ($27)

Cheaper base cards shouldn't be overlooked when building a collection. These rookies can still gain a lot of value, and they're much easier to find than some of the rare parallels on this list. The Panini Mosaic Jaylen Waddle rookie card is a prime example. It is a basic card with a nice action shot of Waddle running with the ball. Aside from a silver background and the Mosaic logo, there are not many other defining features. However, it's cheap, so the risk is low, and it may have potential.

The first Panini Mosaic set was released in 2020, so this Waddle rookie card is from the second set that was released. If Mosaic cards stay popular, the price of cards from early editions could be more desirable. With an average price of less than $30, it's likely worth picking up this card.

2021 Panini Prizm #338 Jaylen Waddle ($26)

Panini Prizm is perhaps the most popular set around. It's one of the most accessible, with many great retail sets and a reasonable price point. However, it still contains some excellent cards with great investment potential and collectible value. So, when building a collection of rookie cards for any player, their base Prizm card is a must-have.

The Jaylen Waddle rookie card from this set has an average value of just $13, or $26 in mint condition. Although quite understated, it has the iconic Prizm design, which is instantly recognizable because of the silver border around the image. Prices have stayed stable, but Prizm cards tend to be sought-after, so this is a solid investment.

Where Can I Purchase Jaylen Waddle Rookie Cards?

Finding specific Jaylen Waddle rookie cards can be challenging. You need a lot of luck to find exactly what you are looking for at hobby stores or conventions, so it's best to use online auction sites instead. You can easily search for the right card and find plenty on offer unless the card is particularly rare. The best auctions sites to try include:

Heritage Auctions

Robert Edwards Auctions


SCP Auctions




Memory Lane




You can track prices on sites like SportsCardsPro and PriceGuide.Cards before you buy to see if you're getting a good deal. Waiting until prices dip below average is an excellent way to maximize investment potential.

How Are Jaylen Waddle Rookie Cards Graded?

Cards should be graded before they're sold to determine the condition. A card in excellent condition could be much more valuable than one with visible damage. Professional grading bodies like Certified Guaranty Company (CGC Cards) assess cards and assign grades to indicate the condition. They also provide a certificate, so sellers have proof of the condition. Every card is graded based on the same four criteria: centering of the image, sharpness of the corners. damage to the edges and clarity of the surface.

Each criterion is scored out of 10, and then the scores are averaged to give an overall grade. A card can score a Pristine 10 if it gets a 10 in each area. This shows that the card does not have any visible damage at all and is perfect in every way. This is quite rare, but cards can still get an overall score of Gem Mint 10, showing that they're in excellent condition. The grade drops when there is visible damage, like tearing or dings on the edges. Poorly centered images or issues with printing affect the grade too. A lower grade often reduces the card's value, so grading is crucial.

Once the card is graded, it is placed in a protective plastic slab. This prevents any damage to the card and acts as a display case. The state-of-the-art materials are specifically designed to highlight the card's features. For further information on CGC Cards’ 10-point Grading Scale and to find out more about our industry-leading services, visit CGCcards.com.


There are many excellent Jaylen Waddle rookie cards out there. If you are investing, look at some rare parallels for high-value options, but don't neglect the cheaper base cards too. Sets like Prizm and Donruss still perform well, even if they are less exclusive.

*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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