Anyone who watched him play in college on a regular basis can’t be surprised but as he starts to put up stats reminiscent of his days at Wisconsin, Jonathan Taylor rookie cards are starting to catch collectors’ attention.
The Indianapolis Colts running back didn’t immediately become a featured back after entering the NFL Draft following his junior year, but it seemed inevitable. While he spent 2020 in the shadows of quarterbacks and other marquee players, Taylor has been making his own headlines as his career unfolds…and he’s been a bargain for the Colts and for collectors who’ve been buying his cards.
A speedy but powerful back, Taylor followed other New Jersey high school stars to Wisconsin, where he ran behind several future NFL lineman. Not expected to contribute much in his freshman year, Taylor turned the tables and became an immediate sensation. He was a unanimous first team All-American in his sophomore and junior seasons, winning the Doak Walker Award both times. Taylor recorded 12 games of more than 200 rushing yards during his ttime with the Badgers. He also became the first college running back to rush for over 6,000 yards in any three year span and finished his career sixth on the all-time NCAA rushing list.
Extremely intelligent, diligent and curious, Taylor had been accepted at Harvard, but challenged himself to be a success in a Power 5 conference.
“I’m telling you, if he wasn’t so good at this, he’d be working for NASA right now. He’s that smart,” says his former running backs coach John Settle.
Drafted 41st overall by the Colts, Taylor started 13 games in 2020. He ran for 1,169 yards and 11 touchdowns while catching 36 passes out of the backfield.
In 2021, he vaulted to the top of the NFL charts in yards from scrimmage, recording an 83-yard rushing touchdown and a 76-yard receiving TD during the first half of the season.
As an offensive player, even being picked in the second round meant plenty of rookie cards. Taylor appears on base cards and parallels and has numerous autographed cards throughout Panini’s 2020 NFL line.
With a relatively modest rookie campaign, prices for most Taylor rookie cards remained relatively low but key autograph and rookie cards have taken a jump. The average price for a Taylor rookie card has doubled since the start of the 2021 season. Many of the highest sales recorded for Taylor rookies have been recorded in the weeks leading up to this story. Since June 7, seven Taylor rookie cards have sold for $2,000 or more. The highest selling Taylor card so far is the 2020 National Treasures NFL Logo autographed patch 1/1 that netted $7,000.
As is often the case, one of the most popular higher end Taylor rookie cards is the National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph numbered to 99.
Prices for Taylor’s ungraded base cards have been on the rise, but most can still be obtained for under $10–often less, including some parallel versions. With many of his best rookie cards not having arrived until early in 2021 when grading companies began to stop accepting submissions of most low cost services, the number of graded, lower end Taylor rookie cards will likely be limited for some time.
Having entered the NFL a year early, Taylor is in a position to put up some impressive career numbers, provided he avoids major injuries.
You can check out a live list of the most watched Jonathan Taylor rookie card auctions on eBay below and see all of his rookie cards here.