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MemoraBillia: Collectors should gravitate to Buffalo's rookies

By Tim Graham

When it comes to the latest sports cards, nothing drives the market like hot rookies.

For a change, the Buffalo Bills have them this year.

The Bills haven't been too relevant in the industry. The Bills have misfired on many picks, and some of their best either played positions that simply don't appeal to collectors (linemen, defensive players) or took time to develop.

Quarterbacks, running backs and receivers capture imaginations, and the Bills have had only one of those come out of the gates with authority over the past decade: Marshawn Lynch. Whereas their other highly drafted backs, C.J. Spiller and Willis McGahee, took years to break through.

The last time the Bills drafted a quarterback in the first round, J.P Losman carried fringe interest compared to Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger.

But the Bills have some potential trading-card heroes in this year's rookie class.

Buffalo made EJ Manuel the first quarterback off the draft board and then followed up with receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin.

The top rookies gathered in Los Angeles last weekend for their annual NFL Players Association Rookie Premiere event.

Card manufacturers Topps and Panini America had the chance to photograph prospects for the first time in their full NFL gear and stage autograph signings -- and other things -- for inserts into this year's card packs.

Topps and Panini tweeted several photographs of the Bills at the event.


C.J. Spiller | EJ Manuel | J.P. Losman | Marquise Goodwin | Marshawn Lynch | MemoraBillia | Robert Woods
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |