Patrick Mahomes is once again a superbowl champion and we can already hear the debate stirring – could Mahomes become the greatest quarterback to play the game? To most football fans that title belongs to Tom Brady, and some feel that Brady’s overwhelming head-to-head victory over Mahomes in Super Bowl LV ended the debate before it could ever begin.
But Mahomes’ resume is compelling. He’s the only player to have multiple Super Bowl victories and regular season MVP awards by the age of 27. He’s already posted multiple 5,000 yard passing seasons, including his 2022 campaign in which he came just over 200 yards shy of the all-time record.
And there’s another quality Mahomes possesses that Brady didn’t at his same age. Likeability. Sure, most football fans have come around on Brady, but he was a polarizing player for much of his career, often cast as the villain.
Mahomes on the other hand has an electric personality and is undoubtedly the face of America’s most popular sport. From a football cards collectors standpoint this means almost as much as what he’s accomplished on the field.
Patrick Mahomes cards are some of the most sought after in the hobby, meaning his rookie cards are some of the most expensive on the market. In this article, we’ll break down the Patrick Mahomes rookie cards landscape by covering the top 10 Mahomes cards and place them in value tiers.
Tier 1 Patrick Mahomes Rookie Cards: Collegiate Products
Collegiate products are an inexpensive entryway into collecting Mahomes cards that won’t cost you upwards of 5 figures. It’s also a way to diversify your Mahomes collection, so that not every card features him in the red and gold of the Kansas City Chiefs.
2017 Elite Draft Picks Patrick Mahomes Rookie Card #145
Sure, some turn their nose at collegiate products. But this card can be a fun addition to any Mahomes collection, especially for those who were fans of his dating all the way back to his Texas Tech days.
2017 was the first year for Panini Elite Draft Picks Football, and Mahomes helped the product make quite the splash. The card features a centered action shot set against a grayscale background, giving it a creative but not over-the-top look.
Looking to upgrade? Chase the ultra-rare Status Die Cut Teal (1/1) parallel.
Tier 2 Patrick Mahomes Rookie Cards: Base Cards
While these cards won’t make headlines for selling for more than the cost of your house, a Mahomes rookie card from a popular release is still a great addition to your collection. These cards are also great long-term olds for investors, as they are likely to gain value over the course of Mahomes’ career.
Here’s the three best options for base cards from Mahomes’ rookie season in 2017.
2017 Donruss Optic Patrick Mahomes II #177
The Rated Rookie is one of the most iconic cards in the hobby. It has a history that dates back to baseball cards in the 1980’s, where it was used to celebrate a draft class’ most promising rookies. Since its revival about a decade ago, it’s been the highlight of Donruss releases.
Pair that legacy with Donruss Optic’s premium chromium finish, and you have one of the hobby’s favorite Mahomes rookie cards.
The 2017 Donruss Optic Patrick Mahomes II #177 card itself features a helmet-off photo with him in a throwing pose. His facial expression is trademark Patty – he’s clearly attempting to be serious, but he looks like he could break into a smile at any time.
Looking to upgrade? Numbered Color Parallels such as Aqua (/299), Black (/25), Gold Vinyl (1/1), are fun chases that add value.
2017 Select Patrick Mahomes II #247
Panini Select comes with three different product tiers: Premier Level, Field Level, and Concourse, each being increasingly exclusive.
Panini didn’t make a Concourse Mahomes rookie, so the two Select cards to collect are the Premier Level and Field Level.
The Premier Level base is a very sleek card, with an almost completely dark gray/black border and a lone image of Mahomes dropping back in the pocket cut off above the knees. The Field Level 2017 Panini Select #247 Patrick Mahomes card is also fairly dark, but uses a full body image and shows some of the field in the background.
Field Level is notably more rare with only 99 PSA 10’s in circulation, compared to 495 for premier level, and typically sells for 2-2.5x more.
Looking to upgrade? Prizm Silver is the way to go. The non-numbered parallel can more than triple the value for both of the Select base cards.
2017 Panini Prizm Patrick Mahomes Rookie Card #269
Prizm Silver is the gold-standard for gauging the value of athletes from the past decade.
The 2017 Select Patrick Mahomes II #247 features a glistening silver border, and a faintly outlined image of Mahomes that almost seems to jump off the card.
If you’re looking for a rock-solid Mahomes card that can withstand market fluctuations and trends, the Prizm Silver is the card. In addition to the silver base, there are 20 numbered parallels to collect.
Looking to upgrade? The Prizms Camo (/25), Prizms Gold (/10), Prizms Gold Vinyl (/5), Prizms Black Finite (1/1) are the rarest inserts from this set.
Tier 3 Patrick Mahomes Rookie Cards: Autos
Mahomes has over 20 rookie auto cards. Many of them are patch autos, and outside of a few of the rarest cards, it can be hard to sift through the massive quantity and determine which ones stand out. While you can’t really go wrong with any Mahomes auto, here’s a few of the most popular and visually appealing lower-mid tier autos.
2017 Absolute Patrick Mahomes RC Auto Triple Memorabilia #229/149
While I mentioned that most of the Mahomes autos feature a patch, how many also feature a game-used ball and cleats?
Well, there’s just one. And it’s the Absolute Triple Memorabilia from the 2017 Panini Absolute Football Card set.
The triple memorabilia card’s design is somewhat crowded, but it’s understandable considering how much cool stuff they tried shoving in. On the left you get a small action shot of Mahomes looking to pass, while the patch, the ball, and the cleat occupy arrow-shaped cutouts across the middle.
The auto sits cleanly at the bottom of the card, with Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs colors streaking across the background.
Looking to upgrade? There’s only one parallel here which is the 2017 Panini Absolute Rookie Premiere Material Autographs Spectrum #229 Patrick Mahomes /99. Despite the relatively high pop-count, it’s still super hard to find, with only 2 verified auctions in the cards 6 years of existence.
2017 Panini Spectra Patrick Mahomes RC Auto Patch #204 /99
The 2017 Panini Spectra Patrick Mahomes RC Auto Patch #204 /99 is very much your standard, good-looking patch card.The card saw an explosion in value during the pandemic, even more than many other Mahomes cards.
Three verified sales in 2019 saw two PSA 9’s $461 and $510. The next time we saw a PSA 9 on the market was 2021, where it went for an eye-popping $6,765.
The card’s background is patches of black and silver, with a refractive tint on the silver parts. It features a nice-sized patch on the right side of the card, opposite Mahomes on the left.
Looking to upgrade? There are over a dozens parallels on this card, but the most popular are those in the neon series, which feature: Neon Blue (/75), Neon Green (/50), Neon Pink (/15), Neon Black Light (/10), Neon Orange (/5)
2017 Certified Cuts Patrick Mahomes RC Auto Patch #204 /49
The 2017 Certified Cuts auto deviates from the traditional RPA design pattern, resulting in a remarkably cool and unique card that separates itself from the bunch.
Here, the signature is absolutely the center of attention. The space for the auto takes up over half the card, leaving just a small banner at the top for a headshot of Mahomes and a small circular patch in the top right.
The placement of the headshot gives the effect of Mahomes “peeping” over the auto.
Numbered to only 49, this card can be very difficult to find. However, one came on the market in late 2022 and sold for only $2,125 – nearly a 50% reduction in price since the last time it had been on the market two years prior. So, next time one of these pops up, you might be able to get a good deal on it.
Looking to upgrade? Red (/25), Blue (/20), and Green (1/1) Ink parallels use colored ink and dye the parchment color to match the signature.
Tier 4 Patrick Mahomes Rookie Cards: Top of The Line
Not only are these cards out of the price range of 99% of collectors, but they are so rare that some might only come for sale once every few years. Simply put, these cards are almost impossible to get your hands on.
That said, it’s fun to marvel at the true gems of our hobby. Here’s our 3 of our favorite high end and super expensive Patrick Mahomes rookie cards.
2017 Panini Flawless Patrick Mahomes RC Autograph #132
Flawless broke into mainstream attention when Drake reportedly purchased 200k worth of the product in an attempt to pull the elusive triple logoman.
2017 Panini Flawless sets the standard for classy, high-end sports card releases. The cards come in a black metal case, and feature unique and luxurious inserts that are embedded with gems.
This particular Mahomes card epitomizes the sleek Flawless image. The white background is the canvas for the card, which features an image of Patty on one side, and the diamond on the other.
Getting pricing data on this card is difficult, since even its parallels sell so infrequently. An emerald (/15) version sold for $45,000 at its peak in 2021, but sold for only $20,000 in 2022.
Looking to upgrade? The Platinum (1/1) parallel sold in 2019 for $10,000. While this price seems relatively low, it should be noted that this was before the 2020 price spike. Based on trends we’ve seen with other cards, it would likely go for $50-90,000 today.
2017 Panini Contenders Patrick Mahomes RC Autograph #303
The Contenders Rookie Ticket card has a longstanding reputation that gives it an edge over a few of the other high-end cards on this list. As the name implies, it’s designed like an actual ticket. It features Mahomes’ hometown of Tyler, TX printed over a fictional seat, section and row. The gold filtered image of Mahomes pops against the cream colored base of the card, and a solid but not excessive amount of room at the bottom is dedicated to the auto.
Despite not having a patch, nor being officially numbered (although the card pop is still under 250), it is a high-seller, with PSA currently valuing the a PSA 10 grading of card at over $50,000.
Looking to upgrade? There are a number or parallels here, including the Playoff Ticket (/49) and the Super Bowl Ticket (1/1) which give a postseason spin on this classic card.
2017 Panini National Treasures Patrick Mahomes RC Auto Patch #161
This is the Patrick Mahomes rookie card. The one that makes the headlines; the one that makes your friend text you, “Did you see how much that card went for?” The design isn’t anything special – it’s a clean looking card, that takes few risks and features an unusually large patch on the right side. But 2017 Panini National Treasures has established itself at the top of the premier football card world, and this Patrick Mahomes rookies is one of its prized items. The card was purchased most recent in 2021 for nearly $400,000…just under the US median home price of $420,000.
Looking to upgrade? There are nearly a dozen parallels of this card, and 7 of them are 1/1’s.
Final Thoughts on Patrick Mahomes Rookie Cards
While Patrick Mahomes is one of the most expensive players to collect, he’s also one of the safest to collect. He already has an established legacy, and would be a HOF’er tomorrow if he retired.
Whether you’re in the market for an expensive RPA, or just want to buy in on some of his collegiate product, there’s solid Mahomes rookies in nearly every price bracket.