What does the market look like for the best Zach Wilson rookie cards? Here’s a rundown with five top options, along with our thoughts about his prospects.
There’s no denying that Zack Wilson has struggled since being picked second overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. The quarterback ended up being benched by the Jets, with analysts suspecting that he has a case of the yips.
He was picked after becoming a two-time bowl game MVP at BYU, but was later demoted to the third string. Does the former starter have what it takes to turn it around in 2023?
The Best Zach Wilson Rookie Cards
Having featured on hundreds of cards since he made his debut, it’s almost impossible to sift through all of Wilson’s RCs. We’ve narrowed it down to a list with five top options.
5. 2021 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Zach Wilson RC #202 (eBay)
Beginning with 2021 Donruss Optic Football, the Rated Rookie subset is perfect if you’re looking for a mix of popularity and affordability. There’s an autographed Zach Wilson RC to chase, featuring an action shot of the quarterback holding the pigskin.
It uses a similar design to 2021 Donruss Football, with the added benefit of an Optichrome finish which helps it to stand out. Ice parallels are new, and are limited to 15 copies.
- Parallels: Bronze, Red Hyper, Holo #/125, Blue #/99, Red #/75, Purple Stars #/50, Pink Velocity #/50, Purple #/35, Black Pandora #/25, Ice #/15, Gold #/10, Green #/5, Gold Vinyl 1/1
Check prices of 2021 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Zach Wilson RC on eBay
4. 2021 Panini Prizm Zach Wilson RC #332 (eBay)
2021 Panini Prizm Football features some of the best parallels on the market. As always, there’s a strong Prizm border design, and a great action shot that is face-on.
There are signed and unsigned versions of the card seen above, suiting a range of budgets. One drawback is that it’s a stickered auto, but it does have a massive selection of parallels that we’ve come to expect from the flagship set.
- Parallels: Black & Red Checker, Black & White Checker, Blue, Disco, Green, Green Ice, Lazer, Light Blue, Neon Green Pulsar, Orange Ice, Pink, Purple Pulsar, Red, Red Ice, Red/White/Blue, Silver, Snakeskin, White Sparkle, Orange #/249, Purple Ice #/225, Blue Wave #/199, Hyper #/175, Red Wave #/149, Purple #/125, Blue Ice #/99, Green Scope #/75, Orange Wave #/60, Purple Power #/49, Red Shimmer #/35, Blue Shimmer #/25, Navy Camo #/25, Forest Camo #/15, Gold #/10, Gold Shimmer #/10, Gold Vinyl #/5, Green Shimmer #/5, Black Finite 1/1
- No Huddle: Base No Huddle, Blue #/79, Red #/50, Purple #/35, Pink #/15, Neon Green #/5
Check prices of 2021 Panini Prizm Zach Wilson RC on eBay
3. 2021 Donruss Optic Downtown Zach Wilson RC #34 (eBay)
A popular case hit found in 2021 Donruss Optic Football, Downtown inserts are illustrated, and use a local backdrop. This time, the background takes the Jets name literally, showing off the inside of a cockpit. You’re looking at the rare Gold parallel in the image above, that has a print run of 10.
- Parallels: Black Pandora #/25, Gold #/10, Gold Vinyl 1/1, White Sparkle 1/1
Check prices of 2021 Donruss Optic Downtown Zach Wilson RC on eBay
2. 2021 Contenders Zach Wilson RC #102 (eBay)
2021 Panini Contenders Football is where you’ll find the ever popular Rookie Ticket subset. It offers a great entry-level Zach Wilson RC auto.
It follows a traditional Rookie Ticket design, with lots of parallels accompanied by a stickered signature. As always, the Cracked Ice edition is worth checking out, especially as there were only 21 copies produced. (You’ll see an example in the image above.)
There’s also a variation, with base copies using an image of Wilson with a football clutched to his chest.
- Parallels: Silver, Red #/75, Teal #/35, Blue #/25, Cracked Ice #/21, Purple Pulsar #/21, Orange #/20, Green Pulsar #/15, RWB #/13, Gold #/10, Nebula #/2, Gold Vinyl 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1
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1. 2021 National Treasures Zach Wilson RC #157 (eBay)
Was it ever going to be anything else? A large rookie patch auto that is hard-signed by Wilson, it’s the best high-end option by a wide margin.
2021 National Treasures is a premium collection, and the Rookie Patch Autographs subset benefits from a minuscule print run and a sleek finish capped by a large patch and an on-card auto. A high-end card with a luxury look and feel, the base version is limited to 99 copies, and it has long been seen as the go-to set for high-end rookie card collectors.
As always, this is evidenced by exceptionally high resale values, especially when graded by the likes of PSA, BGS, or SGC.
- Parallels: Purple #/49, Holo Silver #/25, Midnight #/20, Holo Gold #/10, Stars & Stripes Blue #/10, Black #/5, Red Brand Logo 1/1, Platinum NFL Shield 1/1, Red 1/1, Red Laundry Tag 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1, Green Jersey Number 1/1
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How much is Zach Wilson’s rookie card worth?
Wilson has a collection of rare cards that will sell for a lot of money, indicating that most collectors still feel that he will be able to get over his early setbacks. For example, a BGS 9 grade of the 2021 National Treasures RC sold for $4,978.86 in November 2022.
Zach Wilson Rookie Cards: Final Thoughts
On the one hand, Wilson is clearly lacking in confidence. At the current time of writing, he has completed just 54.5 percent of his passes this season. It doesn’t bode well, and there has also been talk of a trade in the works. He hasn’t done much if he wants to attract potential suitors.
“He’s still a huge part of our future,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters in December 2022. “We are not quitting on the young man. We are going to do everything we can to develop him.”
His top rookie cards are holding value fairly well, and the QB does have time on his side. If he can get over the yips, he could easily make a comeback despite struggling during his second year in the NFL.