2011 Topps Rising Rookies
What I pulled--
Brown Rookie Parallels – 19, including Marcell Dareus, A.J. Green, Jake Locker
Blue Rookie Parallels (#ed to 1339) – Brandon Burton, Von Miller, Torrey Smith, Da’Rel Scott
Orange Rookie Parallel – Denarius Moore
Draft 2011 – Tandon Doss, Cam Newton, A.J. Green, DeMarco Murray, Jake Locker, Da’quan Bowers, Kyle Rudolph, Kendall
Combine Competition – Ryan Williams/Jordan Todman, Torrey Smith/Edmond Gates, D.J. Williams/Virgil Green, A.J.
Green/Julio Jones, Von Miller/Martez Wilson, Jake Locker/Christian Ponder
Playmaker – Jamaal Charles, Hakeem Nicks, Clinton Portis, Santonio Holmes
Draft Selections – Aaron Rodgers, Greg Olson, Chris Cooley
Draft Selections Relics – Darren McFadden
Rookie Autograph – Mikel Leshoure (exchange)
Draft 2011 Autographed Logo Patch – Jordan Todman (#11/115)
Freshman Impressions Autographed relic – Taylor Price (#22/25)
Topps kicks off the 2011 Football card year with Rising Rookies, a rookie heavy product that marks the
card debut of 2011 draft picks. And in a time when the sport is going through labor strife, the appearance
of the cards will no doubt result in conflicting feelings among collectors.
The American public yearns for football in the off-season, and in this one filled with more labor stories than
football stories, a hole in everyone’s hearts can be filled with Rising Rookies. It is here where Cam
Newton, Julio Jones and all of the newest members of the NFL family can be seen in uniform for the first
time. It is here where fans can relive the 2010 season with cards of all of the big names in the game,
including all of those who may be leaving for other cities when the lockout ends and free agency gets
And it is here where autographs and relic cards abound. Four hits per box, although I will admit that the three autos I pulled in y
box weren’t exactly household names. The cards themselves are basic, although I do like the idea of having a different card
design for the veteran cards and the rookie cards. There are plenty of both in each ten card pack, with the two different base
sets complemented by a large number of insert sets. Some of the sets work, with Combine Competition, for instance, putting
a nice spin on what goes on at the NFL Draft Combine. Others, lie the Playmaker set, feel like filler and look and feel like many
other inserts in the past.
The hits are gorgeous cards, that’s for sure. Manufactured Draft logo patches, low numbered auto relics and other visually
appealing sets abound. There are multi-player autos, multi-swatch relics and all kinds of variations out there. Pull on of the big
names, and your box has been made. Pull some names like I did and, well, focus on the aesthetics of the cards instead.
There is nothing inherently wrong with Rising Rookies, but many of the pieces have that “been there, done that” feel to them.
The good outweighs the bad, and I think it is safe to say that the lockout has been a deterrent for Topps as far as making a
better set. They did a good job working within the parameters they were faced with, but let’s hope the league gets back to
normal so that Topps can move their next football products into the 2011 season in a more complete way.
The grade is lower than I want to give, but I don’t necessarily think this is any fault of Topps’ this time. We can blame it on the