As one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history, Rob Gronkowski was truly a game-changing talent. Rob Gronkowski rookie cards helped show fans that it is not only the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers that are worth collecting on the offensive side of the ball. Given how often he found the end zone, he was also a favorite of those in the fantasy football world.
Although the second-round pick by the New England Patriots may have entered the league with minimal hype, his skills were on display early and often and he had great chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady. Injury issues seemed to be the only thing that could slow him down but he still put forth a Hall of Fame-level career in spite of his health problems.
The first NFL cards for the Gronk came during his rookie season in 2010. As far as his key cardboard options, the many Rob Gronkowski rookie cards top the list for most collectors. With 30 RC choices available, standouts include the signed versions, and several of the best rookies are covered in our guide.
Although Gronk initially retired after the 2018 season and later joined WWE, he was apparently still not ready to end his football career. After Tom Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, Gronkowski followed his old teammate, hoping to recreate their chemistry from New England. They were successful, winning Super Bowl LV.
In addition to the list below, you can also review the full Rob Gronkowski rookie card checklist that includes his entire RC lineup.
Top Rob Gronkowski Rookie Cards
2010 Contenders Rob Gronkowski RC #229 Rookie Ticket Autograph (2 versions)
Always popular because of the on-card autographs and possible short prints, 2010 Contenders Football features a top Rob Gronkowski rookie card and one of the most plentiful signed RC choices for Gronk. There are two versions of the Rookie Ticket autograph and they are easily distinguished by the jersey color.
Although the cards are not numbered, it was revealed that both cards have 499 copies, so technically neither is a short-printed variation since they are equally rare.
2010 National Treasures Rob Gronkowski RC #329 Autograph Patch #/99
The most valuable Rob Gronkowski rookie card is found in 2010 National Treasures NFL. It includes a large patch, on-card signature and a print run of just 99 copies, all combined on a horizontal layout. However, don't confuse him with his brother (Chris), who also has a rookie card in 2010 National Treasures.
If you are looking for the very best rookie card for Gronkowski, it is hard to find something better than NT.
2010 Topps Chrome Rob Gronkowski RC #C112 Autograph
It may have a sticker autograph, but the signed edition for Gronkowski in 2010 Topps Chrome Football is another top option. The base (#/50), Black (#/25), Gold (#/10) and SuperFractor (1/1) Refractor parallels also see considerable interest. Collectors can find a limited auto patch version (#/25), as well.
If you want something popular that is also cheaper, his base Topps Chrome rookie card is appealing. This card has the same photo as the signed version along with a larger rainbow of Refractor parallels.
He also has a rare image variation that shows him catching the football.
2010 Topps Five Star Rob Gronkowski RC #161 Autograph Jersey #/90
While the jersey piece is smaller than National Treasures, Gronk's 2010 Five Star Football rookie card matches or exceeds its premium card counterpart in nearly every other category. The print run checks in a tad lower at 90 copies and the larger signing area is nicely framed with the ornate silver foil design. These rarely surface due to the rarity but prices aren't unreasonable when compared to NT.
2010 UD Exquisite Collection Rob Gronkowski RC #131 Autograph Patch #/120
2010 Exquisite Collection features a college image of Gronk at the University of Arizona, and largely matches Five Star and National Treasures with a jersey patch, print run of 120 and on-card signature. The gold ink color works well with the gold foil in the design, giving the popular first-year card a distinct look.