A look at Elite’s Passing the Torch checklist

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Athletes are constantly compared to each other even if they haven’t played in the same decade. Fans love to speculate how a certain player will pan out. Will he be like my sports idol? Or just wash out after one season?

But inevitably, one good player leads the way for another. Since about 1997, the Donruss Elite brand has found ways to display that transition with its “Passing the Torch” autograph inserts.

This year’s Elite by Panini America, which came out this week, is no different with 20 pairs of subjects on the checklist. These cards are hard to pull with none having more than a 25-card print run.

A few cards stand out on the checklist.

The Emmitt Smith/DeMarco Murray card is one. As a rookie, Murray started last year as the third string running back for the Dallas Cowboys. But in Week 7, due to injuries and circumstance, Murray got his chance. He broke Smith’s single-game rushing record for the Cowboys with 253 yards on 25 carries. He also finished the season leading all rookies in average per carry (5.5 yards), yards per game (69 yards) and 897 rushing yards.

Another card that stands out is Peyton Manning/Andrew Luck. Was there ever a more appropriate passing of the torch? Manning, who had missed all of last season with a neck injury, was released by the Indianapolis Colts after 14 years. He signed with the Denver Broncos in the offseason. The Colts then took Luck with their first overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. Of course, Luck has yet to play an NFL game.

Another popular card seems to be Herman Moore/Calvin Johnson. Moore was one of the greatest wide receivers in Detroit Lions’ history. He holds the club records in career receptions (670), receiving yards (9,174) and touchdown catches (62). So why pair him with Calvin Johnson? After five seasons, Johnson is more than halfway to Moore’s career receiving yards and touchdown record. In fact, Johnson has 49 career receiving touchdowns. If Johnson stays healthy, he could surpass Moore in several categories.

Which is your favorite, and who would you like to see paired next?

Here’s a look at the rest of the checklist.

Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #1 Dan Marino/Drew Brees /20
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #2 Kellen Winslow Sr./Rob Gronkowski /20
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #3 Sam Bradford/Cam Newton /5
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #4 Doug Williams/Robert Griffin III /25
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #5 Cam Newton/Robert Griffin III /5
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #6 Derrick Mason/Darren Sproles /5
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #7 Peyton Manning/Aaron Rodgers /5
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #8 Boomer Esiason/Andy Dalton /20
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #9 Fred Taylor/Maurice Jones-Drew /20
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #10 James Lofton/Donald Driver /20
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #11 Peyton Manning/Andrew Luck /20
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #12 Emmitt Smith/DeMarco Murray /20
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #13 Bill Romanowski/Von Miller /20
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #14 Andre Rison/Julio Jones /5
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #15 Chad Ochocinco/A.J. Green /20
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #16 Jim Plunkett/Carson Palmer /20
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #17 Herman Moore/Calvin Johnson /5
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #18 Anquan Boldin/Torrey Smith /5
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #19 Fran Tarkenton/Christian Ponder /20
Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #20 John Elway/Peyton Manning /20

You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.

12 Comments

  1. carey alt
    Posted Thursday July 26th, 2012 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    bill romanowski/von miller? is that a joke?

  2. zotster
    Posted Thursday July 26th, 2012 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    As a Dolphins fan, I’d rather see Marino paired with the next great Dolphins quarterback, whenever he arrives in 10-20 years (fingers crossed for Tannehill, though) …

  3. Derek C.
    Posted Thursday July 26th, 2012 at 01:18 PM | Permalink

    Thurman Thomas/Fred Jackson
    Andre Reed/Victor Cruz
    Chad Johnson/Stevie Johnson

  4. Derek C.
    Posted Thursday July 26th, 2012 at 01:18 PM | Permalink

    Cam Newton/ RG3 is gonna be HUGE

  5. Richard
    Posted Thursday July 26th, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink

    Sticker autos? Pass.
    Yes, I know they’ve been around for some time, but the ones made 2001 and before are
    just that much nicer for having on card autos.

  6. Ian Moore
    Posted Thursday July 26th, 2012 at 06:04 PM | Permalink

    Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autograph #2 Kellen Winslow Sr./Rob Gronkowski /20?

    Why not Gates instead of Gronkowski?

  7. Matt W
    Posted Thursday July 26th, 2012 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    I Pulled the Manning Elway one today #1/20 super sick card

  8. David Johnson
    Posted Friday July 27th, 2012 at 09:44 AM | Permalink

    There are some good ones and some bad ones. However I want the Fred Taylor / MJD.

  9. Tom B
    Posted Friday July 27th, 2012 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    How about a nice Jim Brown/Trent Richardson?

    And while I love the idea of a Cam Newton/RG III card…Passing the Torch? Is that really the spirit of this set? I thought it was meant to be HOFers passing the torch on to a young player, not a Rookie to a Rookie. I mean, I get the thought, and I would defintiely love to pull it, but maybe it should have just been the Doug William to RG III…or throw a Theisman/RG III in there, too.

    Same with the Bradford to Cam…nice to get the two of them on a card together, but until Sam Bradford wins a game or two, I hardly think he is passing anything to anyone…in fact, how about Matthew Stafford instead?

    Still, all in, a nice low numbered set…

  10. Nathan
    Posted Friday July 27th, 2012 at 01:35 PM | Permalink

    I love this set and the design this year but I’m kind of upset about it again. I really think it should be ashamed team concept from an older player to a younger one. I mean some of the pairings are just silly like the cam rg3. I really hoped for a dual 49ers one like Patrick Willis/ Navarro bowman but I guess il have to wait and see if that ever happens now. I also don’t like how the print run changed. 25 was hard enough but now their numbered to 20 and 5. Now nobody can put sets together. But the design is very nice and still think is the best set ever made!

  11. Tom B
    Posted Friday July 27th, 2012 at 05:56 PM | Permalink

    One I think they missed…Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow /6 for the number of games it takes the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS fans to start chanting “We want Tebow.” LOL

  12. Posted Thursday March 7th, 2013 at 08:21 AM | Permalink

    I never have any luck opening boxes I always pull trash.
    Well that changed today. I pulled manning/elway dual auto #15
    Awesome card, shoot my wife was even stoked once she seen book value

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