We’re taking a look at Deshaun Watson rookie cards, as Cleveland’s QB continues to make his return to the field.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson sat out most of the 2021 season, demanding a trade from Houston.
The three-time Pro Bowler made his return to the NFL after 700 days away from the league in December 2022. It would also be remiss not to mention that was back after an 11-game suspension for alleged sexual misconduct. Watson had maintained his innocence throughout.
Here’s a rundown with his most popular rookie options.
The Best Deshaun Watson Rookie Cards
We’ve come up with a list with five of the best cards to collect based on their values, the brand, and the overall rarity.
5. 2017 Panini Select Deshaun Watson RC #16 (eBay)
2017 Panini Select Football features a trio of Deshaun Watson RCs in the base set. These are split into Concourse (30 per box), Premier Level (10 per box) and Field Level (1:6 packs) tiers.
Each tier comes with a selection of numbered Prizm parallels, and a different design. You’ll see the Tie-Dye Concourse version in the image above.
- Parallels: Silver, Tri-Color #/199, Blue #/149, Maroon #/99, Orange #/49, Tie-Dye #/25, Pink #/10, Gold #/10, Green #/5, Black 1/1
4. 2017 Panini Prizm Deshaun Watson RC #RADWS (eBay)
The flagship 2017 Panini Prizm Football set is where you’ll find this popular Watson signature. It features a simple action shot of the player clutching the pigskin, with a stickered autograph found above the nameplate. It comes with a heap of serial numbered Prizm parallels. Green Scope, Purple Crystal and Red Power were new additions for 2017.
- Parallels: Disco, Green, Pink, Red/White/Blue, Blue Wave #/149, Green Scope #/99, Purple Crystals #/75, Red Power #/49, Camo #/25, Bronze Stars #/20, Gold #/10, Gold Vinyl #/5, Black Finite 1/1, White Sparkle 1/1
3. 2017 Panini Prizm Stained Glass Deshaun Watson RC #6 (eBay)
Sticking with 2017 Panini Prizm Football, the Stained Glass insert is a unique collectible, with Watson one of just 10 players included along with the likes of Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes II. As the name implies, you’ll find an image of Watson set against a Stained Glass window design. There’s also a duo of hyper-rare parallels to chase.
- Parallels: Gold Mojo #/10, Black Finite 1/1
2. 2017 Contenders Rookie Ticket Deshaun Watson RC #302/#342 (eBay)
2017 Panini Contenders Football is a great place to start if you’re looking for the best NFL rookie cards. The ever-popular autographed Rookie Ticket is always a viable option, with a further landscape image variation for Watson which is seen in the image above. As always, it comes with a Cracked Ice parallel which is especially popular with collectors.
- Parallels: Red Zone SP, Playoff #/99, Championship #/49, Cracked Ice #/25, Super Bowl 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1
1. 2017 National Treasures Deshaun Watson RC /99 #169 (eBay)
If you’d prefer a true high-end option, 2017 Panini National Treasures Football is where you’ll find a number of hard-signed Deshaun Watson RPAs. The mixture of a large patch and an on-card auto is enough to make this one of the more expensive collectibles to make the list. Even base copies have a print run of just 99.
- Parallels: Green Jersey Number, Holo Silver #/25, Stars and Stripes #/13, Holo Gold #/10, Black #/5, Red #/2, Red Brand Logo #/2, Red Laundry Tag #/2, Platinum NFL Shield 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1
Deshaun Watson Rookie Cards: Final Thoughts
Watson came back in 2022 after a long time out, and his reputation has taken a hit in the meantime. He was rusty in his first game back, and was booed heavily against his former team, the Houston Texans. (He was traded to the Browns in exchange for three first-round draft picks in March 2022.)
Analysts have been quick to dismiss him after being one of the worst QBs statistically since his return, but it’s to be expected as he begins to get up to speed. There’s still a lot of interest being paid to his best rookie cards, which indicates that many collectors think that he’ll be able to turn it around by next season.