Blake Bortles might have been a bit overshadowed by other quarterbacks heading into the 2014 NFL Draft, but when the Jacksonville Jaguars made him the third overall pick and first quarterback selected, everyone took notice. Now the starter in Jacksonville, Blake Bortles rookie cards are seeing strong interest from collectors among 2014 products.
After an impressive high school career, the Florida native stayed in-state and accepted a scholarship to play football for the University of Central Florida. Bortles was a redshirt freshman, and after solid play in 2011, he assumed the starting spot for UCF in 2012. As a junior, Blake Bortles led UCF to the conference title and capped off his final season with a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl win and the bowl's Offensive MVP award.
While he was regarded as one of the top quarterback options in the 2014 draft, it still came as a shock to many when he was picked so early. Bortles did not begin the year as the starter, but replaced an ineffective Chad Henne in week three and was named the starter the following week. Although he struggled during his rookie season, Bortles showed enough to flashes of potential to
In regards to his cards, collectors have a variety of choices for Blake Bortles. The most popular options are his official NFL rookie cards, which are only available from Panini and Topps. The problem with these is that many end up with a very similar look and the same images are used multiple times, especially the brands that were released earlier in the 2014 collecting year. Inception represents the best early option given the on-card signature and solid design. Immaculate Collection, Contenders and Spectra present more choices for on-card rookie autographs, and the high-end brands to end the collecting season, like National Treasures and Five Star, are the most popular and valuable overall.
Collectors looking for something a little different with their Blake Bortles collection have two primary options. The first is Upper Deck. While Upper Deck no longer has an NFL license, they make good use of their college license. This allows them to apply college images to their deep database of hobby brand favorites. Not all collectors enjoy the college theme, but if that is not an issue, Upper Deck can be an appealing alternative, especially if you are a fan of UCF. This includes another of one of the top Blake Bortles cards in Exquisite Collection. Bortles has a signed card in both 2013 and 2014 Exquisite Collection.
Leaf is another option that has a growing interest among collectors looking for something else. Since they don't have a college license or the NFL license, these pre-rookie cards use airbrushed college images. While that is not ideal, the top Blake Bortles cards from Leaf make up for that with solid designs, on-card autographs and limited print runs.
Official Blake Bortles rookie cards are shown as well as the main options for products without a true rookie card set. Below that, notable college and pre-rookie options are shown.
Blake Bortles Visual Rookie Card Guide
Click on the image or listing to shop for cards on eBay. Parallels are shown in place of the base versions when necessary.