If you’re looking at popular quarterback rookie cards from the last few years, Justin Herbert has to be part of the equation.
The 2020 Rookie of the Year now holds the record for the most passing yards (9,350) through the first two seasons of a career in NFL history, as well as the most completions (839) during the same period.
Many experts believe that’s only the beginning in terms of his potential legacy.
Here’s what you need to know about the best Justin Herbert rookie cards, including some of the most valuable options on the market right now.
The Best Justin Herbert Rookie Cards
We’ve featured a duo of popular inserts, a base Prizm card with lots of parallels to chase, and two of the most valuable Justin Herbert rookie football cards ever produced.
5. 2020 Panini Obsidian Justin Herbert Color Blast RC (eBay)
2020 Panini Obsidian saw the release of all-new Black Color Blast inserts, coming at a rate of one per case. We personally prefer the look of the original collection, but this is a more than acceptable alternative.
They feature an image of the player set against a paint-effect background, in one of the more unique modern inserts. You’ll also find an RC logo in the bottom right corner.
Despite the lack of a serial number, graded copies are relatively expensive, as seen in the image above.
4. 2020 Panini Prizm Justin Herbert RC #325 (eBay)
2020 Panini Prizm contains a Justin Herbert RC which can sell for major money if you’re looking at the rarest parallels. The base card from the flagship set doesn’t have a patch or an autograph, but it benefits from some of the strongest branding you’ll find within the hobby.
As always, they’ve used Optichrome printing technology, which helps to create some of the more vivid cards on the market. Parallels will correspond with the border color/design.
- Prizms: Prizm, Disco, Lazer, Black & White Checker, Blue, Green, Light Blue, Neon Green Pulsar, Orange Ice, Pink, Purple Pulsar, Red, Red Ice, Red/White/Blue, Snakeskin, White Sparkle (Panini Direct), Orange #/249, Blue Wave #/199, Hyper #/175, Red Wave #/149, Purple #/125, Blue Ice #/99, Green Scope #/75, Purple Power #/49, Red & Yellow (base) #/49, Red Shimmer FOTL #/35, Blue Shimmer FOTL #/25, Camo #/25, Gold #/10, Red & Yellow (rookies) #/8, Gold Vinyl #/5, Green Shimmer FOTL #/5, Black Finite 1/1
- No Huddle: Base, Blue #/79, Red #/50, Purple #/35, Pink #/15, Neon Green #/5
3. 2020 Panini Absolute Kaboom Justin Herbert RC (eBay)
The Kaboom subset is always a popular release, especially if the insert happens to have an RC logo attached. It also works out to be one of the most valuable unnumbered Justin Herbert rookie cards on the market.
Contained in 2020 Panini Absolute Football, it was released at a rate of one insert per box.
The addition of a comic book motif proved to be a masterstroke, as the Kaboom subset is instantly recognizable. There’s also a duo of rare parallels to look out for.
- Parallels: Gold (#/10), Green (1/1)
2. 2020 Panini Immaculate Collection Justin Herbert RC #103 Auto Patch #/99 (eBay)
The 2020 Immaculate Collection contains a strong Justin Herbert rookie auto patch which almost takes the top spot on this list.
The Immaculate Collection RPA offers a small patch and on-card autograph as well as a print run of just 99 copies.
It’s a premium release that comes with a handful of parallels which are similarly scarce. The acetate finish also gives it more of a unique look and feel.
- Parallels: Gold #/25, Premium Edition #/14, NFL Shield 1/1, Platinum 1/1
1. 2020 Panini National Treasures Justin Herbert RC #158 Auto Patch #/99 (eBay)
If any Justin Herbert rookie card is going to break sales records in the future, this is likely to be the one to do so.
The 2020 National Treasures RPA is serial numbered to 99, but this time Panini has opted for a massive player patch that takes up most of the card.
There’s still space for a large on-card auto at the bottom, in which Herbert has also included his jersey number. It’s hard to think of many flaws, aside from the patch not being from ‘any specific game or event’.
- Parallels: Holo Silver #/25, Midnight #/20, Stars & Stripes #/20, Green Jersey Number #/18, Holo Gold #/10, Black #/5, Hidden Treasure #/5, Stars & Stripes Premium #/3, Red Brand Logo #/2, Platinum NFL Shield 1/1, Red 1/1, Red Laundry Tag 1/1 (No Edwards*), Printing Plates 1/1
Justin Herbert Rookie Cards: Buyers Guide
What do we think about the current state of the market for Justin Herbert football rookie cards?
There are lots of cheaper base versions to seek out, and 2020 Panini Prizm is a great place to start. Otherwise, there’s also the duo of inserts (Kaboom/Color Blast), which are relatively affordable compared to the patch autos that top the list.
Any of the rarer Justin Herbert rookie cards are likely to be worth major money in the future if he manages to keep up his impressive form. The National Treasures RPA would be our personal pick.
Justin Herbert Rookie Cards: Final Thoughts
Herbert has been spurred on by the likes of Joe Burrow and Mac Jones, and has to be seen as one of the more promising players to invest in if you’re willing to accept the element of risk attached to buying expensive cards featuring a current star.
He certainly has the right mentality for continued success. The quarterback doesn’t even like taking time off;
“I think the great thing about football, for me, is I need football,” Herbert said, via ProFootballTalk. “I love waking up and going to work and lifting, running, throwing and watching film.” He continues; “I think too much off-time can kind of be a burden to me sometimes, so I always look forward to having stuff to do, whether that’s watching film or us throwing or being out here for OTAs. That’s kind of what I look forward to.”
For now, he has to be seen as one of the best football players to invest in. Of course, that also means that the prices for the best Herbert rookie cards are wildly inflated.