Justin Herbert Rookie Cards: The 10 Definitive To Buy Now

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The Justin Herbert Base Prizm RC #325 would be our pick for the top investment in all the trading cards for the next 10 years and maybe the best investment period (yes, including stocks, real estate, and bitcoin).

SHOP THE BEST JUSTIN HERBERT ROOKIE CARDS ON EBAY

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The San Diego Chargers drafted Justin Herbert (3/10/1998) with the 6th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and man alive, are they glad he fell to the 6th overall.

You have quarterbacks whose playing styles ooze flash (Michael Vick, Brett Favre), quarterbacks with an unexciting but practical playing style (Chad Pennington), quarterbacks who command attention more for their personality than play (Johnny Manziel), and quarterbacks whose playing style and personality are similarly captivating (Peyton Manning).

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BIG BALLER PICK: 2020 JUSTIN HERBERT CONTENDERS AUTO VARIATION RC

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I’ll contend that there is yet another category of quarterback: those with elite talent but a personality that simply isn’t conducive to superstardom. Today’s crop of elite young quarterbacks provides similar variance.

You have Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Kyler Murray, quarterbacks whose playing style is ultra-exciting. Joe Burrow has shown a Pennington-like ability to post solid numbers and make his team better without any Herculean physical attributes.

Baker Mayfield’s polarizing personality has commanded just as much attention as his play. Patrick Mahomes has flashed an advertiser-friendly persona with elite play to match.

And then you have Justin Herbert, who fits squarely into that final category—an elite talent whose play is exciting but often overshadowed by more dynamic players like Murray and Allen.

Then there’s Herbert’s personality, a subtle combination of sly wit, extreme politeness, and boundless humility. Though beloved by his teammates, Herbert does nothing to draw attention to himself. Everything about Herbert the person is headline kryptonite in a media age driven by controversy.

Increasingly, though, Herbert’s play is making him impossible to ignore. The 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has continued his upward trajectory, converting one-time critics into believers.

No other young quarterback has drawn the attention of sports card hobbyists like Justin Herbert. These are his top cards.

Let’s look at the top-rated Herbert RCs for investment purposes (we will update this page as more RCs are released throughout the season).

 

2020 Justin Herbert Panini National Treasures Patch Auto /99 RC #158

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justin hertbert national treasures rookie

National Treasures are generally polished well-conceived cards. We find that the 2020 Herbert Patch Auto RC #158 comes in a print run of 99 cards.

Related: Best National Treasures Rookie Cards of All-Time

The player patch is the dominant feature, occupying the center and righthand quadrants of the card’s upper half. The base card generally features the Chargers jersey’s blue, yellow, and white portion.

Panini National Treasures are premium cards ranked highly across “Top” and “Best” lists. A Chargers-blue swatch connects the patch to the card’s upper border. Vertical “Chargers” text runs along the patch’s right side.

To the left of the patch is an image of Herbert, massive hands overwhelming the football as he prepares to throw in his white and gold Chargers uniform. His eyes are focused downfield through a clear visor, showing the poise that won him the 2020 NFL Rookie of the Year.

Herbert’s blue autograph, which is sneakily polished in its own right, dominates the card’s bottom third. It’s written on a stark white backdrop above the nameplate and NT logo. Like most Herbert rookie cards on this list, you’ll need a fat stack to acquire this card.

 

2020 Justin Herbert Panini Contenders Auto RC #104

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2020 Contenders Playoff Ticket Justin Herbert rookie card

Also known as the “Rookie Ticket” card, the 2020 Justin Herbert Panini Contenders Auto RC #104 has a unique look that collectors have shown appreciation for.

The “Rookie Ticket” feature is the card’s most abnormal quirk. It is a rectangular faux ticket on the card’s lefthand side.

Herbert’s jersey number and completion percentage occupy the “Row” and “Seat” portions of the card (though the completion percentage could be coincidental).

Trending: Best Brett Favre Rookie Card Investments

A Panini Contenders banner, Chargers logo, and Panini “RC” emblem are also present within the ticket portion of this card.

A white backdrop occupies the rest of the card. Herbert’s blue autograph fits snugly beneath the ticket portion of the card and the bottom edge.

A full-sized image of Herbert occupies the right side of the card. The rookie signal-caller displays Pro Bowl-caliber form, both arms flexed upward as he delivers a pass.

A thin, vertical yellow stripe along the right edge of the card reads “Los Angeles Chargers” in a repeating pattern.

Though not the most expensive Herbert rookie card, it’s got a high price floor.

 

2020 Justin Herbert Panini Prizm RC #325

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justin herbert prizm rookie card

2020 Justin Herbert Panini Prizm RC #325 has emerged as a more affordable option for those who want to invest in the Chargers gunslinger.

The base card sticks to the Prizm formula. An image of Herbert is central, surrounded by a refractive silver border and a black, gold, and blue inner border.

The Justin Herbert Panini Prizm football card might just be one of the hottest cards of 2021 with a ton of potential. Prizms are consistent if nothing else. They’ve also displayed a level of price consistency that is necessary for any well-rounded collection.

The inner border contains a blue “Justin Herbert” nameplate at the bottom (Herbert’s name in white font) and a white, grey, and black “Panini Prizm” emblem at the top.

The image of a statuesque Herbert includes a refractive, cartoonish outer lining. Every inch of Herbert’s 6’6″ frame is on display, as is the crisp design of the Chargers whites.

 

2020 Justin Herbert Panini Mosaic RC #204

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2020 justin herbert mosaic 204 (psa,bgs,sgc,hga)

When you think of Panini Mosaic, you might be wont to imagine one of the vibrantly colored Mosaic parallels. Don’t sleep on the base Mosaic, though.

Not only are they the best-looking football cards in 2020, but they hold up very well to high-end grading (the high-end parrellels, in particular, are our favorites).

The base version of the 2020 Herbert Panini Mosaic RC #204 has a quality yet understated design. A blue, >-shaped backdrop matches the shade of Herbie’s powder blue Chargers uni.

The remaining backdrop is slate grey, adorned with geometric shapes and lines. A compelling image of a confident-as-can-be Herbert catches the eye, blue-and-gold drip expertly assembled.

2020 Justin Herbert Panini Mosaic Football Parallels: Mosaic, Silver, White Sparkle, Gold Wave /17
Rookie Autographs Mosaic Parallels: Gold /10, Black 1/1
Rookie Auto Choice Parallels: Fusion Red, Black Gold 1/1
Hobby Mosaic Parallels: Red, Blue /99, Purple /49, White /25, Gold /10, Black 1/1
Choice Mosaic Parallels: Peacock, Red & Green (only rookies), Fusion Red /80, Black Gold #8, Nebula 1/1
Retail Mosaic Parallels: Camo Pink, Genesis, Green, Reactive Blue, Reactive Green, Reactive Gold, Reactive Orange, Orange Fluorescent /20, Gold Fluorescent /20, Blue Fluorescent /15, Pink Fluorescent /10
No Huddle Parallels: Silver, Blue /75, Purple /50, Pink /20, Gold /10, Black 1/1

The “M” Mosaic logo, Panini “RC” emblem, and nameplate complete the front design. Like we said, the design is simple but made to last. Panini Mosaics are accessible to budget-conscious investors.

 

2020 Justin Herbert Flawless RPA RC #11

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justin herbert flawless rookie card

Another entry from one of Panini’s prime sets, we have the 2020 Justin Herbert Panini Flawless Auto RC #11.

The ultra-high-definition image of Herbert is the focal point. Eyes narrowed, and mouth pursed, Herbert holds his left hand like a server carrying a tray as he prepares to deliver a pass.

The image is backed by a black backdrop and an ornate border. A regal, cursive “Flawless” banner sits well with the card’s premium feel.

Herbert’s signature is another defining feature of the card. Herbert’s blue John Hancock pops atop a white slate towards the bottom of the card.

A true gem, that would make any card investor upon obtaining.

 

2020 Justin Herbert Prizm Color Blast SP RC #14

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2020 Panini Prizm Color Blast Justin Hebert

A bona fide favorite among collectors, the 2020 Justin Herbert Prizm Color Blast SP RC #14 is among the best-looking cards you’ll find.

A horizontally-oriented card, you can’t help but first notice the absolute explosion of color emerging from the image of Justin Herbert. This is one of Herbert’s costlier rookie cards, as the Panini brand and outstanding design have proven popular.

You’re not alone if you find yourself immersed in the color blast. Just as impressive is the image of Herbert on the run, about to throw a pass as he rolls to his right.

A small Chargers logo, Panini Prizm emblem, and nameplate round out the design.The card’s white backdrop is akin to a painter’s canvas, with Herbert and the color cloud the work of art.

2020 Justin Herbert Panini Absolute Kaboom RC #K-JH2 

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best justin herbert rookie cards kaboom

There are a couple of versions of the 2020 Justin Herbert Absolute KABOOM! RC, and we think #K-JH2 stands out.

The card features the trademark cartoon-ish KABOOM! backdrop, a series of refractive, explosion-like graphics emanating from Herbert’s image.

A “KABOOM!” banner, designed in a font similar to the Dragon Ball Z logo, stands loudly in the upper-left portion of the card. A small Panini “RC” emblem is to the right of the banner.

The chosen image of Herbert has a bit of an airbrushed look to it, lending to the cartoon theme. Herbert rolls aggressively to the right in his powder-blue uni, ball held defensively in the football equivalent of a three-point stance.

2020 Justin Herbert Kaboom Set Parallels: Gold (#/10) and Green (1/1) parallels

KABOOM! has always been for investors who don’t take their collection too seriously.

 

2020 Justin Herbert Panini Absolute RC #167

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justin herbert panini absolute rookie

By Panini’s standards, the 2020 Justin Herbert Panini Absolute RC #167 has a tame design. It’s a trading card that would fit perfectly in the early 2000s. Crescent triangular banners in the upper-right and bottom-left corners withhold a two-tone Chargers logo and Absolute logo.

Top Investment: Tom Brady Rookie Cards

The other two corners contain a grey rounded border with football lace-style graphics. A slim, black Justin Herbert nameplate sits slyly towards the card’s bottom edge.

The image of Herbert is the focal point. He advances forward in a white-and-gold LA getup, ball cradled with throw impending.

2020 Justin Herbert Panini Absolute Parallels: Red /100, Orange /75, Blue /50, Green /25, Gold /10, Purple /5, Black 1/1. Retail Parallels: Blue, Green, Yellow, Red Squares /199, Orange Mosaic /149, Blue Diamonds /75, Green Waves /35, Gold Stars /10, Purple Rain /5, Black Galaxy 1/1

With blurred fans sitting mutedly in the bleachers behind him how can you not love this card?

 

2020 Justin Herbert Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Auto RC #303

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justin herbert optic holo rookie

The 2020 class of Justin Herbert RCs from Donruss Optic are among our favorites. They have a timeless design that is busy without being obnoxious.

The Optic Rated Rookie Auto RC #303 shows Herbert, as he always seems to be, with his eyes locked downfield. He wears the white Chargers uniform, ball gripped tightly in his right hand as his left-hand hovers closely.

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The card’s color scheme is tailored to the blue, gold, and white of the Chargers getup. The white outer border leads into the blue-gold inner border, with multi-tone graphics connecting the two.

Some versions have a black autograph, while others contain a blue signature. Donruss Optics are not the most expensive Herbert rookie cards but command strong.

 

2020 Justin Herbert Panini Origins Auto RC #RA-JH

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Like the Color Blast, the 2020 Justin Herbert Panini Origins Auto RC #RA-JH goes heavy on color. A blue, red, purple, and white backdrop immediately captures the viewer’s attention.

In front of the artfully designed backdrop is the same image Herbert used on the Donruss Optic Rated Rookie #303.

Must-Have Card: Patrick Mahomes Rookie Card Investments

The bottom third of the card is white and is the perfect landscape for Herbert’s blue signature. Beneath the signature is a stacked silver nameplate including Herbert’s name and team.

With the signature, autograph, and Panini name, this is a card that goes for a significant (albeit not prohibitive) price point.

 

2019 Justin Herbert Panini Select XRC PRZ Auto RC #325

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2019 Prizm XRC Justin Herbert ROOKIE

Another super pricey Justin Herbert Panini card in the form of the Select brand.

We have never been a fan of the Select cards, but most in the hobby love them as they are pricey and sell well. Just not our bag as we prefer other Herbert investing options.

2020 Panini Select Prizm Parallels XRC: Tie-Dye #/25, Gold #/10, Black 1/1

 

Checklist

  • 2020 Prizm Refractor RC #102
  • 2020 Panini Prizm Rookie Color Blast Chargers RC #2
  • 2020 Panini Prizm DP Auto RC #102
  • 2020 Panini Fusion Mosaic Prizm Auto RC #4
  • 2020 Panini Donruss Rated Rookie RC #303
  • 2020 Panini Prizm Color Blast #2
  • 2020 Panin Prizm Refractor RC #102
  • 2020 Panini Prizm Draft Picks RC #102
  • 2020 Panini Select ’20 XRC  RC #325 #303
  • 2020 Panini Absolute Kaboom #K-JH2
  • 2020 Panini Chronicles Psychedelic RC Logo Patch AUTO RC
  • 2020 Leaf Metal Draft RC #BA-JH
  • 2020 Leaf Ultimate Draft Auto RC #BA-JH2

“The 22-year-old rising star has already proven the draft doubters wrong and he shows no signs of stopping. Move over Burrow, Herbert is the NFL’s next star.” – Lindsey Wisniewski (@lindsniewski)

 

top justin herbert rookie cards

 

Most Valuable Cards

The value of Justin Herbert’s rookie cards is just sitting off all-time highs and now might be a great time to buy in before the 2021 NFL season begins.

Just realize with the fantastic reward comes significant risk. Imagine buying a $40,000 Herbert rookie card like the one above and suffering a year-long injury in week one. This is unlikely but a great example of why you want 80% HOF RCs and 20% first or second-year RCs.

 

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About Justin Herbert

Herbert’s story is courageous resilience in the face of skepticism and doubt. The ultra-humble quarterback is not known to speak about himself. He doesn’t have to—we’re here to tell the story and predict the trajectory of Justin Herbert’s rise to NFL stardom.

The Oregon Kid: Herbert Chooses Football at the Very Last Minute

Herbert was diagraming his plays long before he became a polished signal-caller—a 9-year-old Herbert predicted that he’d be a “professional football player” living in “California Los Angeles.”

The path to that destination, though, was not always clear-cut.

Before he could fulfill his prophetic vision of becoming an NFLer in LA, Herbert would have to progress through adolescence in Eugene, Oregon.

Sports was a way of life in the Herbert household. Athletic fields, sports-themed t-shirts (including Chargers gear), baseball helmets, football pads, and rubberized running tracks appear in Herbert’s childhood photo album.

Also appearing in the scrapbook is Herbert’s two brothers, Patrick and Mitchell. Brothers, as only brothers know, breed competitive spirit. The brother Herbert would also come in handy as scab teammates when coronavirus prevented Justin from engaging in the typical pre-draft workouts.

As he progressed beyond pickup basketball games in the family driveway, it became clear that Justin Herbert might have a shot at more athletic severe pursuits.

He showed talent as a football player on the basketball court and the baseball diamond. Though talented as a quarterback, Herbert was not a precocious phenom in the mold of Arch Manning. Herbert’s star remained buried on the Shelton High depth chart for a while.

Herbert did not receive significant playing time until his Junior year, and even then, he only started three games. His senior year provided the opportunity to shine, as Herbert played in 11 games and threw 2,915 yards and 36 touchdowns while only logging three interceptions.

Herbert’s senior-year production was impressive, as was his apparent athletic prowess. And yet as the college commitment deadline approached, the 6’6″, cannon-armed Herbert was receiving scholarship offers from the likes of Portland State and Northern Arizona.

To be fair to recruiters, Herbert had only one year as a full-time starter. Most highly-recruited Division-1 quarterbacks today enroll in quarterback camps as soon as the doctor cuts the umbilical cord.

Coaches undoubtedly had questions: Does this kid love football? Is his senior season a flash in the pan? Will Herbert be able to develop into a starting collegiate quarterback with such limited starting experience?

Even more importantly, scouts wanted to know: Is this kid even going to play football if we offer him a scholarship?

Herbert also excelled at baseball at Eugene’s Sheldon High, so much so that he bypassed early enrollment at the University of Oregon to pursue a 6A State Title in his final high school baseball season. For a time, the multi-sport athlete believed that he may have a more straightforward path to pro baseball than to collegiate or pro football:

“I thought it was going to be a baseball player for quite a while actually until late my senior football season when Oregon came around and offered,” Herbert says via Sports Illustrated.

Had Oregon not come knocking, Herbert said he would have likely joined the football team at FCS-level Montana State, where his older brother Mitchell was playing wide receiver.

Instead, at the last minute, Oregon and Nevada extended the only Division 1 football offers that Herbert would receive. As a native of Eugene and a diehard Ducks fan, the choice was obvious—Herbert, a quarterback, known for throwing tight spirals, would become a Duck.

 

Herbert Went from Sixth String to Freshman Starter. But Was His Collegiate Career More Decorated or Disappointing? 

Those who paid close enough attention would have recognized Justin Herbert’s maturity and resilience. They wouldn’t have to look past the two years encapsulating Herbert’s senior season of high school and freshman year at Oregon.

Essentially given the cold shoulder by every D-1 program, Herbert wasn’t even in the top-five quarterbacks on his Oregon Ducks team when he entered Oregon’s Football Performance Center in 2016.

Those who’ve watched Netflix’s Last Chance U or monitored college football’s transfer portal know that far lesser hurdles have sent far more highly-touted prospects into a tailspin of self-sabotage.

Oregon’s athletic staff couldn’t even spell the kid’s name right upon his first official visit, inscribing “Hebert” on his name tag—during his recruiting. Some recruiting trick, huh?

It was no sweat for Herbert, who needed little convincing to attend his hometown university.

In short order, Herbert became the first true freshman to start for the Oregon Ducks in 33 years. Herbert would overcome turmoil during his tenure at Oregon to become the second-most prolific quarterback in school history, behind only Marcus Mariota.

AND YET, MANY ANALYSTS VOICED SKEPTICISM THAT HERBERT WAS A SURE-FIRE NFL PROSPECT HEADING INTO THE 2020 NFL DRAFT. WHY?

A review of Justin Herbert’s college stats reflects the accurate, turnover-averse, and big-armed quarterback we now know him to be.

Freshman: 8 games, 63.5% completion, 1,936 yards, 19 TD, 4 INT, 148.8 passer rating

Sophomore: 8 games, 67.5% completion, 1,983 yards, 15 TD, 5 INT, 167.5 passer rating

Junior:  13 games, 59.4% completion, 3,151 yards, 29 TDs, 8 INTs, 144.6 passer rating

Senior: 14 games, 66.8% completion, 3,471 yards, 32 TDs, 6 INTs, 156.8 passer rating

Extrapolate the stats for the two shortened seasons, sprinkle in one-hundred-plus rushing yards each year, and you have statistics that are more than worthy of a first-round pick, especially given Herbert’s athletic and cognitive gifts.

Even with a bit of a dip in completion percentage during his Junior season, there appears to be moderate year-to-year growth, with his Senior season being the healthiest, most productive college career. Herbert also won a Rose Bowl in his senior season, which would presumably silence any critics inclined to claim that he is not a proven winner.

So why did so many football fans view Herbert’s college career with a collective “meh”?

One possible explanation for Herbert’s good-not-great college career was his refusal to give up other sports that he loved in high school. He played football, baseball, and basketball throughout his high school career.

As scholarship-hungry parents increasingly pressured their kids into focusing on one sport throughout the calendar year, Herbert did it the old way. Developmentally, though, you have to wonder if this put the Oregon quarterback behind the eight ball. 10,000 hours and all that.

Experience is valuable, particularly for young quarterbacks learning complex defensive tendencies. However, Herbert’s immediate success in the NFL suggests that most problems in his college career likely lay beyond the quarterback’s control.

More likely explanations for any underwhelming aspects of Herbert’s career at UO include:

  • Instability: Herbert’s freshman season came under lame-Duck coach Mark Helfrich, who could not carry the torch from his predecessor Chip Kelly. Herbert’s second season saw Willie Taggart take the reins, only to depart for Florida State following the season. Head coach Mario Cristobal provided some stability in Herbert’s Junior and Senior seasons, which proved his two best.
  • Inconsistency: Herbert’s career seemed full of starts and stops. Despite an underwhelming final record, Herbert showed flashes of massive potential as a freshman. Then, his coach gets (rightfully) fired, injury strikes (more on that in a second), his coach leaves, and suddenly a promising college career is a disjointed, uncertain college career. Though he’d re-establish forward momentum to finish his career, early chaos likely created lasting impressions of Herbert that hard-headed fans find tough to shake.
  • Injury: It’s not as if Justin Herbert has a reputation as injury-prone. However, the timing of a fractured collarbone during Herbert’s sophomore campaign could not have been worse. Taggart’s Gulf Coast offense averaged nearly 50 points per game, compiling an impressive 4-1 record when the injury happened. Rather than putting together a potential Heisman-worthy season, Herbert’s—and Oregon’s—seasons ended disappointingly.

There is a theme here: most of the adversity that hamstrung Herbert’s potential as a college quarterback was out of the young man’s hands. More high-level analysis of Oregon’s offensive schemes throughout Herbert’s tenure may reveal even more explanations for any unfulfilled potential.

As the 2020 NFL Draft approaches, you have to wonder whether analysts placed more criticism on Herbert than he deserved.

 

Why Wasn’t Herbert the Top Pick in the Draft? The “Experts” Simply Got it Wrong.

We’ve covered many reasons why an NFL franchise would draft Justin Herbert—the 6’6″ frame, deadly accuracy, ball security, and elite arm talent being “pros” in the Herbert column.

KNOWING WHAT WE KNOW NOW ABOUT HERBERT’S EXTREME PREPAREDNESS FOR THE NFL GAME, ONE HAS TO ASK: WHAT WERE THE “CONS” IN DRAFT ANALYSTS’ ANALYSES OF JUSTIN HERBERT, AGAIN?

Draftniks, not known for latching onto the positives, did not hold back when it came to Herbert’s perceived shortcomings:

  • “All the issues scouts have with Oregon QB Justin Herbert came to bear in a loss to Arizona State on Saturday night: the unsightly picks, followed by the furious comeback (the Ducks defense couldn’t do quite enough to give him a chance to complete it) telling the tale of a Jekyll-and-Hyde player,” Albert Breer told Sports Illustrated
  • “I was in Detroit when they drafted Joey Harrington in the first round, similar qualities with great arm strength and skills — but he couldn’t win the locker room,” ESPN personality Desmond Howard said pre-draft. “That’s my concern with the quarterback out there at Oregon, Justin Herbert. Not sure he can win the locker room like Burrow.”
  • An anonymous scout branded Herbert as “immature”, “quirky”, and “not a leader of men”, despite coaches and players at the Senior Bowl praising virtually every aspect of Herbert’s leadership.

In hindsight, the critiques of Herbert’s personality seem puzzling. By virtually every credible account, Herbert is thoughtful, respectful, obedient, and an underrated leader, whether by nature, upbringing, or both.

Herbert was never the rah-rah type and likely never will be. But his last head coach at Oregon—the coach who interacted with Herbert the longest and at the time when he was an imminent NFL draftee—described Herbert this way:

“Driven, determined, hungry, off-the-charts smart, can make every throw, run, run the entire offense, manage the run game, flip protections — he can do it all,” Mario Cristobal told OregonLive. “He is that kind of a guy. He’s loved by his teammates —everyone just thinks the world of him. He’s a grinder.”

Those who knew Herbert best, like his former tackle at Oregon, Penei Sewell, went so far as to describe specific pre-draft criticism of Herbert as “slander.”

If anything, Herbert displayed restraint and humility that—you would think—NFL franchises would covet as traits in their starting quarterback. Just consider this response to a question about his readiness for the NFL:

“I’ve never played a down in the NFL,” Herbert told reporters via NBC Sports. “I couldn’t tell you what the game’s speed is like. I’ve watched as much as I could, and I feel confident with my abilities, but I’ve never played in the NFL before, so to give you an answer on whether I could play right now, I don’t think that would be in my best interest.”

The answer is honest and self-aware. And yet, you could fill several NFL stadiums with critics who still viewed Herbert as a specific NFL bust, even faulting him for such honesty.

It remains difficult to decipher the authenticity of these critiques. We know that franchises will not hesitate to spread disinformation about a prospect they are fond of, hoping that negative reports deter other franchises from selecting the player.

However, most of these critics put their names on their negative analyses of Herbert, suggesting they truly believed their critiques. Wrong as these doubters appear to have been, many of those same critics deserve credit for changing their tune.

 

Herbert’s Play Positions Him as the Next Face of the NFL…

There is no doubt that Herbert’s play to date suggests he has a remarkable career ahead of him.

He had no preparation for his first NFL start. He was thrust unexpectedly into the lineup after a Chargers’ team doctor unintentionally punctured starter Tyrod Taylor’s lung with a pain-killing injection.

How did Herbert perform with no forewarning? He threw for 311 yards and accounted for two touchdowns while nearly defeating the reigning NFL champs.

The remainder of his rookie season went similarly well. Herbert completed 66.6% of passes, throwing for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions in 15 games.

His performance earned Herbert the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award over Joe Burrow, who was drafted with the first overall pick, Tua Tagavailoa (also drafted ahead of Herbert), and all other rookies drafted in 2020.

 

…But Does Herbert Have the Personality for Stardom?

Would you say that Tom Brady has a star’s personality? Before you respond, think about it.

He has a supermodel wife, movie-star looks, and the confidence that only a true alpha can espouse. But, for most of his career, Brady made an art form out of remaining mum with the media.

Though he’s become more open since his move to Tampa, the winning is the most responsible for Brady’s stardom.

Again, Gisele doesn’t hurt his Q score, but does Tom from Foxborough have a shot at the model without the stardom his winning created?

So no, Herbert’s muted demeanor does not alone preclude him from stardom. However, Herbert’s personality makes true stardom virtually impossible without winning in a major way.

If Herbert continues to progress as a quarterback, the Chargers’ chances of success will remain a great year in and year out. For the first time in a long time, many pundits believe that the Bolts have the leadership infrastructure in place for prolonged success.

Herbert has enough Pro-Bowl caliber teammates—Joey Bosa, Derwin James, Keenan Allen—that he is unlikely to endure the experiences of Calvin Johnson, Archie Manning, or Barry Sanders, superstars whose careers were squandered by woebegone franchises.

Make no mistake, though: Herbert will not stroll into any Super Bowls, let alone superstardom. With his natural gifts, competitive makeup, and history of overcoming long odds, it’s clear that Herbert has a shot at greatness if he does not already qualify.

Even if he does not ever become a household name like Patrick Mahomes or offer the same brand of dazzling play that Kyler Murray does, Justin Herbert will be a fixture among the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks for the next decade-plus.

He’ll continue to navigate the pocket effortlessly, deliver pinpoint passes to every square yard of the field, and remain one of the most talented, intelligent quarterbacks in the NFL.

Like Manning, Brady, Brees, and Rodgers have shown us, there is room for more than one superstar quarterback in the NFL. When the sculptor carves the Mount Rushmore of NFL quarterbacks spanning roughly 2021 to 2035, will Herbert be on it?

The one they call “Herbie” went from a one-year starter in high school to a freshman starter at Oregon, from heavily criticized draft prospect to Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Considering Herbert’s penchant for rapid ascendance and proving doubters wrong, ask yourself: Would you confidently bet against the Oregon Kid?

Herbert could not have been more impressive in his rookie season, throwing for 4,336 yards and 31 TDs at a completion rate of 66.6%.

The young phenom outshined even top pick Joe Burrow, showing a cannon of an arm and elite accuracy, and above-average mobility. Following his rookie season, the value of Justin Herbert’s rookie cards soared as he was named the Rookie of the Year Award.

 

Justin Herbert Investment Outlook

Since his unexpected explosion onto the NFL scene in 2020, Justin Herbert’s trading card stock has risen precipitously.

Few young quarterbacks offer as much promise to investors as Herbert does. Herbert’s arrow is pointed with rare physical tools, requisite intelligence, and quality receiving weapons around him.

justin herbert rookie card guide

For collectors of modest means, certain Herbert rookie cards will be prohibitively expensive (such as the Panini National Treasures Patch Auto). However, Herbert rookie cards are available to investors of all means, with the Panini Mosaic RC #204 being one of the more affordable options.

Whichever Herbert rookie card you choose, just make sure to invest sooner rather than later. As Pac said: “Get while the getting is good.”

When the next NFL season closes, Justin Herbert cards may have already doubled in value. The rising tide of Justin Herbert’s continued ascendance should lift all boats.

Sports Card Investor - Trusted, sports card investor dedicated to maximizing sports card portfolio profits. Part-time contributor to Chicago Tribune.com, NBC Chicago.com, www.espn.com, wsj.com, and the Washington Times.com.

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