Prior to this year, the last quarterback prospect considered to be a “can’t miss” pick was Andrew Luck in 2012. Enter Trevor Lawrence, one of the most mechanically-sound, accomplished, and highly-graded NFL quarterbacks-to-be in the past decade.
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Lawrence, on the other hand, has been considered a future top NFL draft pick since before he graduated high school. Lawrence is the second-highest rated college football prospect of the past 20 years, trailing only Vince Young in terms of scouting grades. His collegiate performance did nothing to dry pro scouts’ salivary glands.
Anticipating a bright career in the League, the card collecting and trading community is seeing strong demand for Lawrence rookie cards. Or, to be more precise, his college cards, also sometimes known to some as early rookie cards.
By the way, he’s also listed as 6’6″ with a pea shooter for an arm and strong metrics in the accuracy department. Though you’ll find the rare mock draft slotting BYU’s Zach Wilson to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the #1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the smart money is very much on Lawrence to first overall.
Best Trevor Lawrence Rookie Cards
Here are a few Lawrence early RCs which, should you find yourself in possession of one or more, could net you a nice return. That is if Lawrence turns out to be the Luck-level prospect that the Kippers and McShay’s of the world are expecting him to be (check back often as this is just the beginning of Trevor Lawrence and NFL rookie cards).
2021 Trevor Lawrence Pro Set RC #XRC1
The 2021 Trevor Lawrence Pro Set RC has a release date of March 26, 2021. It showed strong demand during the pre-sale stage, and the reason could have more to do with Lawrence’s appeal as a prospect. This is the first set of Pro Set football cards since 1993.
The design of the 2021 Pro Set rookie cards, including Lawrence’s, is a nod to the past. If the minimalist orange and white border, emoji-style football helmet in the top left corner, and text font seem retro, it’s because it is retro. This is the same design aesthetic used in 1989 when images of rookies like Troy Aikman, Deion Sanders, and Barry Sanders graced the Pro Set paperboard.
“Lawrence’s image on the Pro Set RC reflects one thing scouts love about him: his ability to stand tall in the pocket, eyes locked downfield. Wearing a white Clemson jersey (though no Clemson logos are visible) with grass stains on his right shoulder, Lawrence’s signature locks dangle out of a logo-less Clemson helmet.”
The image and the overall card aesthetic are decidedly simple. It is also a card that you can secure at an accessible price point. Leave it up to Pro Set, nearly thirty years later, to add a couple of twists for serious collectors.
Two gems for you to hunt: a reverse-image version of the 2021 Pro Set Lawrence RC and an autographed version with a nameplate and blue-ink signature beneath Lawrence’s likeness. These are two rarer versions of the base Pro Set RC—there will only be 1,000 reverse-image parallels in circulation—that may provide added value to your collection as Lawrence ascends into NFL prominence.
2018 Trevor Lawrence Leaf Metal U.S. Army #BA-TL1
The U.S. Army-sponsored the All-American Bowl, a showcase for outstanding high school prospects, until 2018. This makes the 2018 Leaf Metal U.S. Army Trevor Lawrence RC special for another reason.
Rather than a true rookie card or even a college card, this treasure from Leaf is more of a high school card. After all, the Lawrence you see donning a grey, U.S. Army football uniform was a high schooler at the time the image was taken. Or, at least, he had not yet entered the college ranks.
The card shows Lawrence in action, ball cocked as he is about to deliver a pass to one of his fellow All-Americans. In the signature version of the card, a silver “metal” backdrop contrasts the grey-and-yellow quality of Lawrence’s uniform. Green accent borders the card, with Lawrence’s signature, scrawled in blue ink beneath the “Metal” logo and above his name in plain text.
Parallels include: Purple /25 or /20, Pink /20 or /15, Black /15 or /12, Green /10 or /5, Red /5 or /3, Gold /2, Super 1/1, Wave 1/1, Plates 1/1
2018 Trevor Lawrence Leaf U.S. Army All-American Bowl Patch/Auto RC #TL1
In addition to its signature U.S. Army All-American Bowl cards, Lead also produced a set of cards implanted with player patches. This Patch/Auto set is comparatively rarer (i.e. more expensive) than the cards with the signature alone.
The cards are oriented horizontally. An image of Lawrence in his All-American uniform occupies the left quadrant of the card. The three quadrants to the right of likeness contain the patch (or a “swatch” as the card dubs it) framed by a decorative border. Lawrence’s blue signature sits beneath the patch.
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Different parallels of this Auto-Patch card offer varying price points and values as investment opportunities. The base version, with Lawrence’s All-American game uniform, is numbered out of 40. The “Red” version, with an American flag-style swatch, is numbered out of 10. You can expect to pay more or less based on the rarity of each parallel.
Parallels: Emerald #/25, Platinum #/15, Red #/10, Silver #/5, Gold 1/1, Gold FB 1/1, Plates 1/1
2018 Trevor Lawrence Leaf Metal US Army A/A Bowl Tour Auto /15 RC #TL1
The last card on our Trevor Lawrence super early rookie card write-up is the 2018 Leaf Metal US Army A/A Bowl Tour Auto /15 RC.
Numbered #TL1 the card shows Lawrence with a goofy-ass grin on his face while sporting the black US Army AA Bowl jersey. His name and auto set centered at the bottom while the number /15 is placed in the top right.
2018 Trevor Lawrence Leaf U.S Army All-American #55 RC
The 2018 Trevor Lawrence Leaf U.S. Army All-American #55 RC is one of the most cost-friendly entry points into the world of Lawrence RC ownership.
Let’s be frank: this card lacks the panache of the Patch/Auto and Signature versions of the U.S. Army All-American RCs. Most don’t start their car collection with a Ferrari, though, and this is a perfectly good card for entry-level collectors.
The card features a full-body version of the image used in the Signature card—Lawrence, arm cocked back, feet squared and knees bent. Two black, marbled crescent borders lead into a white landscape. Text superimposed on that landscape reads “Committed to Clemson, Trevor Lawrence”.
It’s a reminder of a time when Trevor Lawrence, the NFL’s perspective number one overall pick, was just Trevor Lawrence, #1 overall high school recruit. It is a simple card that you can have for a very reasonable cost.
Trevor Lawrence Rookie Card Checklist
- 2018 Leaf US Army All American Bowl Patch/Auto RC #LT1
- 2018 Hot Shot Prospect RC
- 1/16 2018 RC Facsimile Auto Platinum Cuts Rookie 1/1
- 2018 Leaf Metal US Army A/A Bowl TOUR Auto /15 RC #TL1
- 2018 Trevor Lawrence And Joe Burrow Platinum Cuts Facsimile Auto RC /1000
- 2018 Leaf US Army All-American Bowl Autograph Printing Plate RC
- 2018 Phenoms Football Rookie RC
- 2018 Trevor Lawrence Thomas Kendrick Leaf US Army Freshman Class /25
- 2020 Rookie Gems Gold Cracked Ice RC #16
- 2018 Platinum Cuts Facsimile Auto Trevor Lawrence And Joe Burrow RC /1000
- 2018 Leaf Metal U.S. Army Trevor Lawrence #BA-TL1
- 2018 Leaf U.S Army All-American Trevor Lawrence RC #55
- 2018 Leaf U.S. Army All-American Bowl Patch/Auto Trevor Lawrence RC #PA-TL1
- 2021 Pro Set Trevor Lawrence RC #XRC1
Trevor Lawrence Rookie Card Value
The most expensive Trevor Lawrence rookie card to date sold is the Leaf All American Bowl Auto 1/1 #AU55 going for $6,600 via eBay auctions on 1/6/2021.
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Trevor Lawrence Rookie Card: Buyers Rating and Investment Outlook
We’ve seen the phenomenon unfold with LaMelo Ball in the NBA. When top-billed rookies live up to or exceed their professional expectations quickly, the value of their trading cards skyrockets.
Long-Term Investment Rating: Buy (4.0 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: None
Best Trevor Lawrence Rookie Card: 2021 Pro Set RC #XRC1
Don’t be surprised when the LaMelo effect takes hold with Trevor Lawrence. Even the most sure-fire of prospects (looking at you, Todd Marinovich) can flame out. There is understandable restraint among trading card investors until they see the “can’t-miss” prospect, well, not miss.
If and when Lawrence proves to be the stud that most expect him to be—in Jacksonville or elsewhere—you’re going to wish you had invested in at least one of his rookie cards. As we’ve seen, there is a ripe investment opportunity no matter your budget. Take your pick.