Card: Panini Contenders 2018
Acquired: 2018, Box Breaker
Marinas Rankin played tackle for Mississippi State from 2015-2017. In 2017, he earned first team All-SEC Honors and the Kent Hull Trophy (which is given annually by the state of Mississippi for the best offensive lineman in the state).
He’d be selected near the top of Round 3 by the lineman needy Houston Texans. The Texans had an abysmal offensive line in 2017 and it didn’t get any better after trading longtime stud Duane Brown to Seattle. In the offseason Houston cut guys who underperformed and signed a few free agents to try to shore up the front. Rankin started off slowly as a foot injury slowed him during camp, but he returned before the preseason concluded to get some much needed playtime.
Martinas would be thrown into the fire however as starting RT Sentrel Henderson broke his ankle during the first game of the season against the Patriots. The Texans shuffled the line and Rankin entered the starting lineup at Left Tackle playing there the next three games. He started one last game late in the season against the Eagles and finished the season garnering experience at both tackle and left guard.
Going into 2019, Martinas has received a fair amount of praise with his improved play at guard and with Zach Fulton locking down the left guard position, Rankin is in a battle with Senio Kelemete for the RG spot.
Card: 2006 Flair Showcase
Acquired: 2013, EBay
See Also: Owen Daniels, Owen Daniels (2)
Owen has some fine cards, and for the cheap price that I got this certified for, I just couldn’t resist. Owen Daniels was a really good TE for the Houston Texans and he always left it all out on the field. Unfortunately injury played a bit of an issue in his playing time there and in 2013 Owen’s season ended during game 5. I felt he had a lot left in the tank but the Texans felt otherwise and let him walk in free agency after 2013.
Daniels signed with the Ravens in 2014 rejoining former head coach Gary Kubiak who was now the OC with the team. He put up his usual solid numbers posting 527 yards on 48 catches with 4 TDs for Baltimore. Owen then jumped ship for Denver in 2015, again rejoining now head coach Gary Kubiak there. In his swan song, Daniels posted 46 receptions for 517 yards and 3 TDs while helping the Broncos win Super Bowl 50.
G/GS 131/125 REC 479 YDS 5661 AVG 11.8 TD 36 LG 44
Card: Donruss Rookies & Stars 2013
Acquired: In Person 2018, AAF San Antonio Commanders Season Ticket Holders Party
I really had to scramble to find a Daryl Richardson card before I left for the season ticket holders party. Worried that the cards I ordered wouldn’t arrive in time, I went and dug through my card boxes twice before I left. I thought that I had at least one card of Daryl somewhere that had possibly been given to me by Spoodog. The night before I left I came across Daryl’s Rookies & Stars entry from 2013. It was a gem to start with.
Overall it was a good event. Players were easy to talk to- almost shy being approached, but Daryl handled the spotlight magnificently with his trademark dreads and wife and kid in tow. When I showed him this card he got really animated, and we talked about being new fathers for a bit. He then welcomed me to follow him on Twitter, where I quickly found out that another fellow collector was a big fan.
His Rookies & Stars entry is really nice. This set is a good departure from the terrible look of the 2012 set. If I had been a collector back then or this set was cheap enough, I’d probably try to plunk down enough change to pick it up. The foreground image of Richardson is strong. He looks heroic bursting from the canvas in front of the design. The background is smartly blurred, and although Daryl’s feet look cut off because they do not continue below the logos, it could still be considered a design decision.
My silver sharpie dried out and the backup I had with me also dried up. Final lessons learned on sharpies: Stick to blue if you have to use a basic sharpie. Silver, black and just about any other color react badly to humidity and after a while will dry out… And- always pack a second sharpie in case the first one is dead. I tested the sharpies before I went inside the covered stadium, but I guess the humidity sapped them up immediately. I ran off to the entry table where the girls running the event let me borrow the- brown one. It worked in a cinch, but I couldn’t get them to let me use blue or black.
Daryl was the second to last pick of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Abilene Christian. He’d beat out Isiah Pead in camp to become Steven Jackson‘s primary backup. A low to the ground, compact, elusive runner, Daryl ran for 475 yards his rookie year. He also displayed soft hands out of the backfield, catching 24 passes. Injuries slowed him his final two seasons in St Louis.
He’d be released in 2014 and sign with the Jets where he was on and off the practice squad of the franchise through 2015. The Texans signed Daryl next, and then later in 2015 the Browns signed and waived him as well. The next year he spent nearly the entire year with the Steelers on their practice squad. Claimed off of waivers by the Jaguars in 2016, Daryl was released by both the Jags and Colts in 2017.
With the advent of Spring football nearly upon the masses again in not only the XFL but the AAF, I decided to throw my hat in the ring with the San Antonio team when it was announced with the AAF. Richardson was one of my ‘big heart’ selections by the Commanders. He’s a ‘do it all’ kinda guy who fits what the team needs, especially in a 3rd down back. Unfortunately facing unusually stiff competition from Aaron Green, Trey Williams, Kenneth Farrow II, and David Cobb- left my fan favorite on the way out. Daryl was cut but hopefully his football dreams will continue with another shot elsewhere.