Mr. Irrelevant

Humorous honor given to the last player selected in the NFL draft
Brock Purdy was selected as Mr. Irrelevant in 2022.

Jim Finn, Mr. Irrelevant of the 1999 NFL draft, and Super Bowl XLII champion
Ryan Succop, Mr. Irrelevant of the 2009 NFL draft and Super Bowl LV champion

Mr. Irrelevant is the nickname given to the person drafted with the final pick of an NFL draft. Most players drafted with the very last draft pick do not even end up playing in an actual NFL game, let alone go on to having successful careers in the NFL. Oftentimes, a player chosen with this pick is released from the team that drafted them before preseason or training camps begin. Some notable exceptions include Jacque MacKinnon, Ryan Succop, and Brock Purdy.


"Mr. Irrelevant" and "Irrelevant Week" began in 1976 when former USC and NFL receiver Paul Salata founded the event in Newport Beach, California. He announced the final pick of each NFL draft until 2013; from 2014 his daughter took over in announcing the pick. After each draft, the new Mr. Irrelevant and his family are invited to spend a week during the summer in Newport Beach. A trip to Disneyland, a golf tournament, a regatta, a roast giving advice to the new draftee, and a ceremony awarding him the Lowsman Trophy are included. The trophy mimics the Heisman Trophy but depicts a player fumbling a football.[1]

"Irrelevant Week" gave so much publicity to "Mr. Irrelevant" that in 1979 the Los Angeles Rams, with the penultimate pick, intentionally passed to let the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the last pick, choose first. The Steelers also wanted the publicity and passed as well. The two teams continued to refuse to choose a player until NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle forced the teams to pick, with the Steelers winning the pick. The incident led to the "Salata Rule", which prohibits teams from passing to get the final pick.[2]

The first Mr. Irrelevant to play in the Super Bowl was Marty Moore, a special teams player drafted last in 1994, who played with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.[3]

The first Mr. Irrelevant to make the Pro Bowl was Bill Fischer, who was the last pick in the 1948 NFL draft. He was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals after his junior season at Notre Dame. He opted to stay in school, and won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior lineman in 1948. The Cardinals drafted him again in 1949, this time with their first-round pick.

The last player chosen in the 1961 NFL draft, Jacque MacKinnon, had a successful 10-season career. However he signed with the San Diego Chargers of the rival American Football League instead of with the Philadelphia Eagles. He appeared in two AFL All-Star Games in 1966 and 1968. He was one of only two Mr. Irrelevants to appear in a Pro Bowl or the equivalent.

Prior to the establishment of Mr. Irrelevant, Jimmy Walker was the final pick in the 1967 NFL draft, despite never having played college football. His main sport, however, was basketball, in which he was a consensus All-American and the nation's leading scorer as a senior at Providence College. Walker was the first pick in the 1967 NBA draft, and opted for a career in the NBA.[4]

Notable selections

Since the NFL Draft was cut to its current seven-round format in 1994, players presented with this dubious honor have more often succeeded in making the team that drafted them, with some making significant contributions.

  • Tyrone McGriff was perhaps the most successful Mr. Irrelevant from the pre-1994 era. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the last pick of the 12th round in 1980. He made the 1980 NFL All-Rookie Team, and played two more seasons for the Steelers. In 1983, he moved on to the Michigan Panthers of the upstart United States Football League. He won a league championship ring that year, as well as a spot on the USFL All-Star Team.
  • John Tuggle started five games as a fullback his rookie year, and was named the 1983 New York Giants Special Teams Player of the Year. However, during the 1984 training camp, he was diagnosed with cancer. He never played again, and died in 1986.
  • Marty Moore, a special teams player, became the first Mr. Irrelevant to play in a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI and first Mr. Irrelevant to win a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI.[5]
  • Mike Green played a significant role in the Chicago Bears secondary in the 2000s, and played from 2000 to 2008.[6]
  • Jim Finn was on the roster as a fullback for the New York Giants on their victory in Super Bowl XLII. Prior to the 2007 season, Finn was placed on injured reserve and never played a game for the Giants on their road to the Super Bowl that year, having been replaced by Madison Hedgecock. He had been the Giants fullback for four seasons.[7]
  • Ryan Succop, the 2009 designee, became the starting kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs. He went on to tie the NFL record for highest field goal percentage by a rookie in a season with 86.2 percent, and also passed NFL Hall of Famer Jan Stenerud for most field goals made by a rookie in Chiefs history. Succop was awarded the Mack Lee Hill Award that year.[8] He has been a starting kicker since his rookie season. Succop moved on to the Tennessee Titans for the 2014 season and was signed to a contract extension in early 2018 before being released in March 2020 and signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in early September. He proceeded to win Super Bowl LV with the team, becoming the second Mr. Irrelevant to win an NFL championship, and first to play and win a Super Bowl as a starter and an active player.
  • Chad Kelly, the 2017 designee and former Ole Miss quarterback, is the nephew of former Buffalo Bills quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. Drafted last largely because injury and discipline questions had lowered his previously high draft stock, Kelly progressed to become the Denver Broncos' second-string quarterback by the 2018 preseason before being released on October 24, 2018.[9] He later signed with the Indianapolis Colts.[10] After moving to the Canadian Football League, Kelly won the 109th Grey Cup in relief of Toronto Argonauts starting quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson.[11] The following season Kelly led the team to a 16–2 record before they lost in the playoffs to the eventual champions in Montreal. He was later awarded the CFL most outstanding player for that season.[12]
  • Brock Purdy, the 2022 designee, was propelled into the starting quarterback role for the San Francisco 49ers after injuries to the first- and second-string quarterbacks, Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. In his rookie season, Purdy became the only rookie quarterback to beat Tom Brady in a starting debut. Purdy became the first Mr. Irrelevant to complete a forward pass, a touchdown pass, and a rushing touchdown in the regular season.[13][14][15] He won all five games he started as San Francisco completed a 10-game winning streak to close out the season, after which he became the first Mr. Irrelevant quarterback to start and win in a playoff game. Purdy was ultimately named a finalist for Offensive Rookie of the Year, finishing third place in voting. Purdy remained the starting quarterback in 2023, leading the 49ers to a 5–0 start, a repeat division title, and an appearance in Super Bowl LVIII, where he became the first Mr. Irrelevant to throw a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl, while setting a new single season franchise record for passing yards.[16][17][18][19] That season, he finished fourth place in MVP voting[20] and was named to his first Pro Bowl, becoming the first 49ers quarterback in two decades to earn the honor.[21] Purdy has been nicknamed "Mr. Relevant" for his immediate impact and rise to prominence.[22]

Mr. Irrelevant selections

Year Round Pick Overall Name Team Position College
1936 9 9 81 Phil Flanagan Giants G Holy Cross
1937 10 10 100 Solon Holt Rams G TCU
1938 12 10 110 Ferd Dreher Bears E Denver
1939 22 5 200 Jack Rhodes Giants G Texas
1940 22 5 200 Myron Claxton Giants T Whittier
1941 22 2 204 Mort Landsberg Steelers B Cornell
1942 22 5 200 Stu Clarkson Bears C Texas A&I
1943 32 5 300 Bo Bogovich Redskins G Delaware
1944 32 6 330 Walton Roberts Yanks B Texas
1945 32 6 330 Billy Joe Aldridge Packers B Oklahoma A&M
1946 32 5 300 John West Rams B Oklahoma
1947 32 7 300 Don Clayton Giants B North Carolina
1948 32 7 300 Bill Fischer Cardinals G Notre Dame
1949 25 10 251 John Schweder Eagles G Penn
1950 30 13 391 Dud Parker Eagles B Baylor
1951 30 11 362 Sisto Averno Browns G Muhlenberg
1952 30 11 360 John Saban Browns B Xavier
1953 30 11 360 Hal Maus Lions E Montana
1954 30 11 360 Ellis Horton Lions B Eureka (IL)
1955 30 11 360 Lamar Leachman Browns C Tennessee
1956 30 11 360 Bob Bartholomew Browns T Wake Forest
1957 30 11 360 Don Gest Giants E Washington State
1958 30 11 360 Tommy Bronson Lions B Tennessee
1959 30 12 360 Blair Weese Colts B West Virginia Tech
1960 20 12 240 Bill Gorman Giants T McMurry
1961 20 14 280 Jacque MacKinnon Eagles B Colgate
1962 20 14 280 Mike Snodgrass Packers C Western Michigan
1963 20 14 280 Bobby Brezina Packers B Houston
1964 20 14 280 Dick Niglio Bears RB Yale
1965 20 14 280 George Haffner Colts QB McNeese State
1966 20 15 305 Tom Carr Colts T Morgan State
1967 17 26 445 Jimmy Walker Saints WR Providence
1968 17 27 462 Jimmy Smith Bengals TE Jackson State
1969 17 26 442 Fred Zirkle Jets DT Duke
1970 17 26 442 Rayford Jenkins Chiefs DB Alcorn A&M
1971[a] 17 26 442 Charles Hill Raiders WR Sam Houston State
1972 17 26 442 Alphonso Cain Cowboys DT Bethune–Cookman
1973 17 26 442 Charlie Wade Dolphins WR Tennessee State
1974 17 26 442 Ken Dickerson Dolphins DB Tuskegee
1975 17 26 442 Stan Hegener Steelers G Nebraska
1976 17 28 487 Kelvin Kirk Steelers WR Dayton
1977 12 27 335 Jim Kelleher Vikings RB Colorado
1978 12 28 334 Lee Washburn Cowboys G Montana State
1979 12 27 330 Mike Almond Steelers WR Northwestern State
1980 12 28 333 Tyrone McGriff Steelers G Florida A&M
1981 12 28 332 Phil Nelson Raiders TE Delaware
1982 12 28 334 Tim Washington 49ers DB Fresno State
1983 12 28 335 John Tuggle Giants[b] RB California
1984 12 28 336 Randy Essington Raiders QB Colorado
1985 12 28 336 Donald Chumley 49ers DT Georgia
1986 12 28 333 Mike Travis Chargers DB Georgia Tech
1987 12 28 335 Norman Jefferson Packers[c] DB LSU
1988 12 28 333 Jeff Beathard Rams[d] WR Southern Oregon
1989 12 28 335 Everett Ross Vikings[e] WR Ohio State
1990 12 27 331 Demetrius Davis Raiders[f] TE Nevada
1991 12 28 334 Larry Wanke Giants QB John Carroll
1992 12 28 336 Matt Elliott Redskins C Michigan
1993 8 28 224 Daron Alcorn Buccaneers[g] K Akron
1994 7 28 222 Marty Moore Patriots[h] LB Kentucky
1995 7 41 249 Michael Reed Panthers DB Boston College
1996 7 45 254 Sam Manuel 49ers LB New Mexico State
1997 7 39 240 Ronnie McAda Packers QB Army
1998 7 52 241 Cam Quayle Ravens TE Weber State
1999 7 47 253 Jim Finn Bears[i] RB Pennsylvania
2000 7 48 254 Michael Green Bears[j] DB Northwestern State
2001 7 46 246 Tevita Ofahengaue Cardinals TE BYU
2002 7 50 261 Ahmad Miller Texans DT UNLV
2003 7 48 262 Ryan Hoag Raiders[k] WR Gustavus Adolphus
2004 7 54 255 Andre Sommersell Raiders LB Colorado State
2005 7 41 255 Andy Stokes Patriots TE William Penn
2006 7 47 255 Kevin McMahan Raiders WR Maine
2007 7 45 255 Ramzee Robinson Lions CB Alabama
2008 7 45 252 David Vobora Rams OLB Idaho
2009 7 47 256 Ryan Succop Chiefs K South Carolina
2010 7 48 255 Tim Toone Lions WR Weber State
2011 7 53 254 Cheta Ozougwu Texans DE Rice
2012 7 46 253 Chandler Harnish Colts QB Northern Illinois
2013 7 48 254 Justice Cunningham Colts TE South Carolina
2014 7 41 256 Lonnie Ballentine Texans S Memphis
2015 7 39 256 Gerald Christian Cardinals TE Louisville
2016 7 32 253 Kalan Reed Titans[l] CB Southern Miss
2017 7 35 253 Chad Kelly Broncos QB Ole Miss
2018 7 38 256 Trey Quinn Redskins[m] WR SMU
2019 7 40 254 Caleb Wilson Cardinals TE UCLA
2020 7 41 255 Tae Crowder Giants LB Georgia
2021 7 31 259 Grant Stuard Buccaneers LB Houston
2022 7 41 262 Brock Purdy 49ers QB Iowa State
2023 7 42 259 Desjuan Johnson Rams[n] DE Toledo
2024 7 37 257 Jets

See also

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Although some contemporary sources list Don Nottingham, who had a seven-year career in the NFL, as the last pick of this draft, the Oakland Raiders passed when their time came to pick in the last round and wound up choosing last.
  2. ^ Pick traded from the Washington Redskins to the New York Giants prior to selection.
  3. ^ Pick traded from the New York Giants to the Green Bay Packers prior to selection.
  4. ^ Pick traded from the Washington Redskins to the Los Angeles Rams prior to selection.
  5. ^ Pick traded from the San Francisco 49ers through the Los Angeles Raiders to the Minnesota Vikings prior to selection.
  6. ^ Pick traded from the San Francisco 49ers to the Los Angeles Raiders prior to selection.
  7. ^ Pick traded from the Dallas Cowboys to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to selection.
  8. ^ Pick traded from the Dallas Cowboys to the New England Patriots prior to selection.
  9. ^ Supplemental pick awarded to the reactivated Cleveland Browns, traded from the Browns to the Chicago Bears prior to selection.
  10. ^ Supplemental pick awarded to the reactivated Cleveland Browns, traded from the Browns to the Chicago Bears prior to selection.
  11. ^ Supplemental pick awarded to the expansion Houston Texans, traded from the Texans to the Oakland Raiders prior to selection.
  12. ^ Pick traded from the Denver Broncos to the Tennessee Titans prior to selection. This was a non-compensatory pick.
  13. ^ Compensatory pick traded from the Atlanta Falcons to the Washington Redskins prior to selection; from 2017 onwards, compensatory picks may be traded.
  14. ^ Supplemental compensatory pick traded from the Houston Texans to the Los Angeles Rams prior to selection.


  1. ^ "Irrelevant Week is pretty, well, relevant". May 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  2. ^ Merron, Jeff (April 18, 2005). "The strangest NFL draft moments". ESPN. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  3. ^ "'Mr. Irrelevant' Marty Moore a Major Success Story for Patriots". NESN. March 10, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  4. ^ May, Peter (July 3, 2007). "Providence hoops legend Jimmy Walker dies at 63". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
  5. ^ "'Mr. Irrelevant' Marty Moore a Major Success Story for Patriots". March 10, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  6. ^ "NFL Draft 2013: Top 5 most relevant Mr. Irrelevant selections of all time". April 27, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  7. ^ "20 NFL draft Mr. Irrelevants who worked their way to (some sort of) relevance". April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  8. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs - RB Jamaal Charles Voted Derrick Thomas Award Winner, K Ryan Succop Wins Mack Lee Hill Award". Archived from the original on January 13, 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  9. ^ Wesseling, Chris (May 1, 2018). "John Elway: Broncos giving up on Paxton Lynch". Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  10. ^ "Roundup: Colts sign former Broncos QB Chad Kelly". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  11. ^ "Toronto Argonauts win 109th Grey Cup Winnipeg Blue Bombers". TSN. The Canadian Press. November 20, 2022. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  12. ^ "Chad Kelly Named 2023 George Reed Most Outstanding Player".
  13. ^ "Photos: San Francisco 49ers' Brock Purdy only quarterback to beat Tom Brady in first career start". December 12, 2022.
  14. ^ "Mr. Relevant: Purdy's first career TD pass makes NFL history". RSN. December 4, 2022.
  15. ^ Madison, Kyle (October 23, 2022). "Brock Purdy makes history in NFL debut". USAToday. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  16. ^ "49ers list Brock Purdy as starter". RSN. August 8, 2023.
  17. ^ "San Francisco 49ers 2023 Postseason NFL Schedule".
  18. ^ "Niners clinch NFC's No. 1 seed with win over Commanders, Eagles' loss to Cardinals". Retrieved January 4, 2024.
  19. ^ Bonilla, David (December 31, 2023). "Brock Purdy sets 49ers record for passing yards in a single season". 49ers Webzone. Retrieved January 24, 2024.
  20. ^ "Lamar Jackson wins AP NFL MVP Award". Associated Press. February 8, 2024. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  21. ^ "Purdy becomes 49ers' first Pro Bowl QB in over two decades". NBC Sports Bay Area & California. January 4, 2024. Retrieved January 4, 2024.
  22. ^ Bishop, Greg (April 21, 2023), Mr. Irrelevant Has Never Been More Relevant, Thanks to Brock Purdy, retrieved December 8, 2023

External links

  • Homepage for "Irrelevant Week" and the current "Mr. Irrelevant"
  • "Meeting Mr. Irrelevant" from GQ
  • "Guess Mr. Irrelevant contest ends Wednesday", Los Angeles Times (April 22, 2013)—Image of the Lowsman Trophy
  • v
  • t
  • e
Mr. Irrelevant selections
  • v
  • t
  • e
Early era (1936–1959)
AFL and NFL era (1960–1966)
Common draft (1967–1969)
Modern era (1970–present)
Expansion drafts
See also