Robert Griffin III Rookie Cards Checklist and Guide
RG3 is projected to be one of those elite players that's collected, no matter the card. In particular, Robert Griffin III rookie cards are extremely popular.
Following a tremendous final season at Baylor, Griffin won the 2011 Heisman Trophy. The athletic quarterback was picked second overall by the Washington Redskins behind only Andrew Luck, another elite quarterback prospect.
Griffin's rookie season lived up to expectations. He was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. At 102.4, his passer rating set a rookie record. He threw 20 touchdowns and passed for 3,200 yards.
RG3 and Andrew Luck have a natural rivalry as prognosticators debate who's better and which team made a smarter pick. It will likely be at least a couple of years before those answers are made clear. Either way, it will only help the hobby and the value of Robert Griffin III cards. Discussion often leads to greater collector interest. For this quarterback, there is plenty of both already.
Robert Griffin III Rookie Card Guide
The 2012 Absolute Robert Griffin III rookie certainly has a distinct look. The on-card autograph and jersey swatches make it very attractive to many. The foil background makes it stand out even further.
The first official Robert Griffin III rookie card to hit the market, the young quarterback is pictured in a generic uniform. The set's stylized isn't for everyone, but it certainly stands out. Although the hobby version of 2012 Bowman Football came with a large price tag, much of it could be attributed to the many autographs. The base cards don't hold the same premium value. The 2012 Bowman Football Robert Griffin III rookie also has a short print variation that shows the quarterback running with the ball.
Although it might not have the flashiest design, the 2012 Bowman Sterling Robert Griffin III should carry a premium over similar rookie cards of the Redskins quarterback. It's a rare card, even without a serial number, as it comes from a high-end product that is more about autographs and other hits than base cards.
The 2012 Elite Football Robert Griffin III rookie has a simple but attractive design. Numbered to 699, it's also fairly limited. Although it will likely get lost amidst the high-end RG3 rookie cards, it's definitely a solid choice for collectors with a finite card budget.
A nice mid-range autograph, the 2012 Panini Certified Robert Griffin III comes with a print run that's low but not impossible. It's autographed, albeit with a sticker, and it has a pair of jersey swatches. The foil-based design isn't for everyone, but it has its loyal fans. It definitely adds to the modern look and feel of the card.
2012 Panini Contenders Football has turned into one of the year's most popular sets, although with its strong track record, this shouldn't be a surprise. Although not numbered, Panini confirmed its print run as 238. There's also a photo variation that's limited to 50 copies.
Part of the Rookie Silhouette subset, the 2012 Panini Crown Royale RG3 comes with both an autograph and a jumbo patch swatch. The design is one of the most distinct in the hobby, helping it stand out from many of his other rookies.
The 2012 Panini Gridiron Robert Griffin III rookie comes with an autographed jersey piece. While the jersey swatch is not game-used, it is big ad provides a distinct backdrop for the card. Also, the piece slides out the top, adding another level of distinction.
Giving collectors a whole lot of shine, the 2012 Panini Limited Robert Griffin III comes with both an on-card autograph and a framed patch swatch. Numbering to 199 helps its cause as well.
The bold design may not be for everyone, but the combination of an autograph, jersey swatches and reasonable numbering make it a solid choice. Although pricey, it should remain more affordable than the high-end releases that traditionally come at season's end.
Bound to be one of the top Robert Griffin III rookie cards, 2012 Panini National Treasures brings together a prestigious brand along with an on-card autograph, low numbering and a patch swatch. As long as RG3 is one of the league's most popular players, collectors should expect to shell out four figures for this card.
This card is unique to other RG3 rookies in that it is designed as a book card. Numbered to just 149 copies, it has both and autograph and a large prime jersey swatch on one side and a second jersey piece on the other side of the card.
With an on-card autograph, an attractive design and extremely low numbering, over the long haul, this should be one of the most valuable and popular Robert Griffin rookie cards. For a lot of collectors, simple is good.
Sorry, folks. No autographs, swatches or serial numbers here. However, for those without the budget for such high-end RG3 rookies, 2012 Panini Prizm is one of the best options. The set has a nice look and feel that is connecting with many collectors. The chase for rare parallels is also helping drive the set as a whole and raising its profile.
RG3 has five different rookie cards in 2012 Panini Prominence Football. Each is autographed and numbered to 70 and each has a distinct design. Rookie Class Letter Signature has a manufactured letter patch. Rookie Embroidered Team Logo Patch cards have a small manufactured team patch on a large jersey-style swatch. Rookie Field Plates have a football field backdrop. Rookie Helmet Signature use similar helmets to those used in 2012 Bowman Football. Finally, Rookie Jersey Prime Signature cards have a large player-worn jersey piece.
The 2012 Panini Rookies & Stars Robert Griffin III rookie is highlighted by both an autograph and a jersey swatch. Despite these elements and a large photo, the horizontal card maintains a clean design.
Applying etched foil to an autographed jersey pairing, the 2012 Panini Totally Certified Robert Griffin III certainly stands out. Although the sticker signature isn't ideal, the low numbering is enticing.
The 2012 Prestige Football Robert Griffin III rookie card was the first to show the Heisman winner in a Redskins uniform. The card has an extremely clean look that should make it one of the more popular options for collectors on a tighter budget. A variation pictures RG3 at the NFL Draft holding up a jersey moments after Washington selected him.
Not all RG3 rookie cards need to cost a ton. His 2012 Score Football card is perfect for beginning collectors and those who just want a token of the Heisman winner. For those who insist on an added chase, there is variation version that pictures Griffin getting ready to throw with one foot in the air.
2012 Topps Football as a nice, clean design. It's also comes at a very attractive price. Like RG3's Score rookie, this one is meant for a broad audience. There is also a short print variation with the quarterback in his white jersey.
Without the benefit of an autograph or other flashy selling point, the 2012 Topps Chrome Robert Griffin III is one of his more affordable rookies. That said, the set has a ton of parallels and autographed parallels that are wildly popular. For those without a high-end budget, this is a must-have.
It's got the flash, but it comes relatively cheaply. Although RG3 has several high-priced autographs and low-numbered parallels in 2012 Topps Finest Football, his rookie card is affordable. That's because it sticks to basics. The chromium design adds some pop.
Along with National Treasures, the 2012 Topps Five Star RG3 should rank as the quarterback's top rookie cards, at least from a value perspective. Distributed via redemption, the final card has both an autograph and a patch swatch.
Some may debate whether there is an official Robert Griffin III rookie card in 2012 Topps Inception. While most rookies have a basic autographed rookie card, Griffin does not. His most plentiful card is the blue "parallel" that is numbered to 150. This is an instance of collector preference as far as affixing a label. Either way, a first-year signature can't be considered a bad thing. A greater concern is the card's condition sensitivity. Most of the black bordered cards show signs of wear and tear, even fresh out of the pack.
Topps' latest throwback set, the 2012 Topps Magic Robert Griffin III is a moderately priced card that doesn't come with any gimmicks. It's not numbered or a short print so it should stay affordable for a long time to come.
For those who prefer cards with a high-end feel but can't afford an autograph, the 2012 Topps Platinum Football Robert Griffin III rookie is an excellent choice. It features a clean chromium design and has several different Refractor parallels.
Collectors can look for both hobby and retail versions of the RG3 rookie card. The hobby version is printed on thicker card stock than the retail one. Both use slightly different photos as well. On the hobby version, the quarterback has his back foot up.
RG3 has two different rookie cards in 2012 Topps Strata. The hobby version shows the quarterback holding the football, getting ready to throw. The retail rookie is much thinner. Griffin is shown running with the ball with a high knee and a high-five hand.
2012 Topps Supreme Football is driven by low-numbered high-end hits. There's a nice base set that some may overlook. RG3's rookie card has plenty of gold foil and relatively low numbering, limited to 462 copies. This card is an excellent choice for those not interested in a high-end autograph or ultra-limited card.
Under normal circumstances, this card would fall in with the rest of RG3's more low-key rookie cards. However, 2012 Topps Turkey Red Football was distributed only via online mini boxes that sold out within a couple of hours. With so few cards per box and the non-traditional distribution method, the cards have a bit of a premium they might not otherwise have.
Limited to just 170 copies, this could become a key RG3 rookie over the long-term. As collectors scour for autographs from the set, you may want to pick one of these up if you have the chance. The low numbering will give it a premium over other non-autographed Griffin rookies.