Select Draft Picks is a brand-new product set that will hit shelves on September 30th, 2022. Panini’s “Select” line has been one of the most popular NFL releases in the hobby for nearly a decade, and the decision to expand the product into the collegiate market is creating a buzz in the hobby.
Collegiate releases can be fun; it’s our first chance to collect the upcoming season’s crop of rookies. However, college cards do tend to be a bit gimmicky and are typically overtaken in popularity by pro uniform cards later in the year. And with other Draft Pick products already on the market, many are wondering where Select’s version fits in.
In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about this new product, and how it compares to the other collegiate products on the market.
After being discontinued in the ’90s, Panini brought the Select name back to life in 2013. Over the past decade, it has been released alongside Prizm as Panini’s flagship NFL products.
And now with a Draft Pick product of its own, Select and Prizm are set to become even more similar.
The cards will, of course, feature players exclusively in their college uniforms. While the 2022 draft class will be the primary focus of this set, some legends and current players will be included as well. Patrick Mahomes at Tech, Aaron Rodgers at Cal, and Jerry Rice at Mississippi Valley State are all featured in the released mock-ups.
The base cards will split into two styles: concourse and field level.
The product is currently rumored to release on August 31st, but that date could be pushed back. You can sign-up for alerts on the product from Panini directly here.
For the past couple of years, Prizm and Chronicles have been the two draft pick products on the market. Prizm has been the more high-end product, while Chronicles has been the more affordable one.
Instead of doing my typical “what I like” vs. “what I don’t” breakdown, I figured it would make the most sense to look at the product through the lens of how it compares to its rival products.
So where does the Select release fit in? Let’s compare the number of hits, design, and price of Panini’s three Draft Pick products.
|Product||Autographs per box||Parallels/Inserts/Relics|
As you can see, Select technically takes the cake for most “hits” in a hobby box. But as we all know, not all hits are created equal; Prizm’s inserts are generally more valuable than Select’s. Plus, Prizm gives you an extra auto.
The design is probably where this product feels the most redundant. While Chronicles’ base cards are stylistically distinct from Prizm (and include fan favorites like the Rated Rookies), Select’s are fairly basic.
I would have really liked to see Select go out on a limb with their designs here. While the cards look fine, the colors and themes are pretty conservative. High-end products like Noir can co-exist with Prizm because they are so different, they appeal to buyers who value their aesthetic. But in an over-saturated Draft Picks market, I don’t see what Select is bringing to the table that is unique stylistically.
Even the parallels don’t feel all that different than Prizm’s – do I really need Select’s “Color Wheel” when I could already have a Prizm “Color-Blast”?
The only reason anyone would choose Select over Prizm is if you like the base card design significantly more (personally I don’t.)
When Select Draft Picks was first announced I did not expect it to be more expensive than Prizm, a more popular and already established product. Nevertheless, Select’s Hobby Boxes are being presold for $25 more than Prizm’s.
Here’s the pre-sale prices for a hobby box from each respective release:
Once again, I don’t really see where Select fits in among the other products. It certainly isn’t a budget option like Chronicles, but it isn’t bringing enough value to feel more high-end than Prizm.
I tried to have an open mind about this release, but it just doesn’t really excite me. I don’t see the need for another Draft Picks product unless it offers a fresh take on collegiate cards, and Select’s offerings don’t do that.
If you like Select more than Prizm and you don’t mind collecting players in their college uniforms, then I can see how this product might appeal to you. And at $250 the price isn’t outrageous. But personally, it just feels redundant.
First off: Before you buy any cards with the intention of turning a profit, please read this article about the effect of the recession on the hobby. Understanding how the state of our economy affects the sports card resale market is vital to timing sales and knowing what types of products to invest in.
Current economic conditions aside, Draft Pick cards tend to be a bad investment, especially as long-term holds. Unlike other hobby boxes, they often lose value over time, and flipping individual cards can be tough if you don’t time releases right.
The only way people really ever make any money with Draft Pick cards is by selling them in the weeks immediately following the release. It’s something we see every year – rookies in their college uniforms are initially overvalued because it’s the first time we’re seeing cards for these players. Inpatient fans wanting a Trevor Lawrence or Mac Jones rookie will overpay to be the first to get their hands on them.
But as soon as the cards that feature them in their pro uniforms come out…bang. The value plummets.
In my view, there are better ways to make money investing in sports cards (eBay bulk buys, holding valuable wax, etc). But it is possible, with a favorable break, to turn a profit by selling these cards right after their release.
Draft Picks will only be available for purchase as a Hobby Box and each one will contain:
And here’s the exact breakdown of hits and autos we can expect to see inside:
The checklist isn’t out yet, but Panini has said the incoming Draft Class of 2022 will be a focus of the set. So, we should expect to see a lot of rookies.
Based on the released mockups we know that the set will include:
As of now, Panini hasn’t released the odds of hitting different parallels or inserts.
Here are the inserts we can expect to see inside:
Select Draft Picks is Panini’s third college football product, alongside Prizm and Chronicles. While the release doesn’t have any glaring issues, it does feel a bit unnecessary in an already crowded Draft Picks market.
That said, if you are someone who enjoys Select over Prizm anyways, and are a fan of this past year’s rookie class, Select Draft Picks will probably interest you. In the grand scheme of things, it’s only $250 – relatively cheap if you’re looking for a rip that will give you a good return on autos and parallels.