It’s NFL Draft season, and that means it’s time for the new wave of NFL cards to start coming out. 2018 Score marks the second major NFL release from Panini, and it comes on the heels of the 2018 Elite Draft product which came out a few weeks before.
Score is a full featured set with a huge 440 card base set to go along with several inserts and base parallels to chase. The Draft Picks are still the focus of this set and therefore the Autograph checklist is huge, with the majority of those autos being guys who didn’t get drafted and are hoping to sign on as undrafted free agents.
The traditional hobby format is a “jumbo” box with 10 packs per box, and 40 cards per pack. Four autographs are found in each box on average. I only received three in my box, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
This set is popular amongst set collectors and contains a good mix of rookies and veterans, and if you like defensive players and kickers, this is the set for you. Those guys are the first to get cut out of most of the “small checklist” sets you see throughout the year, but Score is happy to have them in there!
Since this product is put together well before the draft even takes place, the rookies are pictured in their college uniforms. Since, I usually only go after one full football set per year, I prefer to have the rookies pictured in their NFL uniform. So for me, I end up going more strongly with one of the later season releases. Also, with my more narrow football focus, I can also do without all the guys who will never even make an NFL roster.
I decided to try out a box, and I was pretty happy with the results!
First off, I only got three auto’s in the box, but as far as quality goes, I definitely beat the odds. A Ricky Watters auto /25 was a pretty decent hit, and to follow it up with a Hall of Fame Alan Page auto was pretty sweet! My final auto was more on the “lower end” of the scale with Allen Lazard from Iowa State. He is one of those undrafted guys I was talking about, but he did sign with the Jags after the draft. Time will tell if he actually makes the roster! Also, while it wasn’t an auto, I did get another hit in the box.
I was pretty excited to pull this D.J. Moore One of One! The former Maryland wide receiver was picked in the 1st Round of the draft by Carolina and could end up with some pretty decent results with Cam throwing to him all year!
The distribution of the remaining cards was pretty good, as I would be well on my way to completing a set. I really like the mix of veterans, rookies, inserts, and parallels. At the current price point, there is quite a bit of risk/reward. Instead of the Watters and Page, I could have just as easily ended up with a couple more $2 autos and got killed from a value perspective. However, if you want to put together a big set, those hits aren’t as big of a focus for you and I think you’d still be happy with a couple boxes.
Have you opened any Score yet, or do you stick with Baseball until closer to the start of the season?
You can read about my 2018 Elite Draft break here.
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