In anticipation of the upcoming NFL Draft, April 25-27, I picked up a 2013 Leaf Draft Football blaster. The blasters run $20 and include 20 5-card packs and 2 autographs. The base set is a 100-card checklist but I am not certain how many autographs there are in the set but I will note that there are some players who have an autograph but are not included in the set. Luke Joeckel, the project #1 Draft Pick, does not have a base card but he is included on the autograph checklist.
Leaf Draft Football, not to be confused with Metal Draft Football or Valiant Draft Football, is a bare-bones, floor model type of product. There are no parallels or inserts besides the autographs. Even the paper stock is plain; it is quite thin with a matte finish.
When the box contains 102 total cards you would expect to build a complete set plus the 2 autographs, but in my case I completed 99/100 with one duplicate (face palm). I am missing card #78, SMU’s Zach Line, and I got two cards #97, Penn State’s Michael Mauti.
Since this year’s draft will be pretty low key with lots of defensive players and O-lineman taken in the first round it is difficult to really sell a product like this especially with no major skill position players making a huge splash like last year’s draft class. Some of the big(ger) names are missing like projected #1 pick Luke Joeckel, Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib and UW CB Desmond Trufant but most of the other names are here like Geno Smith, Te’o, Barkley, E.J. Manuel, Tavon Austin and Eddie Lacy.
The autograph cards are designed almost exactly like the base cards; on the front the name banner is removed and replaced with the autograph sticker, on the back the player’s personal stats info is removed and the card number is different.
In the blaster boxes the two autographs are packaged separately with each card in a ridge protector and both rigid protectors in a team bag. You can still pull an autograph out of the packs but it is pretty difficult.
I pulled Florida State DT Everett Dawkins and Missouri LB Zaviar Gooden, both are projected as late round picks. Surprisingly none of the major players autographs have shown up for auction yet, about the “biggest” named player to appear is E.J. Manuel with a $30 starting price and no bids, most other autographs can be found under $20 easily.
There was some fun with the blaster, it is always fun busting packs and knowing that you are getting at least 2 autographs makes it interesting. If you are interested in a better looking card or more value than Metal Draft or Valiant Draft is the way to go.