Analysis

Mr. Irrelevant: History, Origins of NFL Draft’s Final Pick

There’s been a lot of talk this week about Mr. Irrelevant, who, you could argue, is the most relevant player on the San Francisco 49ers at the moment.

Quarterback Brock Purdy, the last player selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, is the man in the spotlight in the Bay Area after starter Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a broken foot against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Purdy, who came in and led the 49ers to victory, is expected to make his first NFL start this coming Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

And now he has a chance to become the most important Mr. Irrelevant in NFL history. No pressure, kid.

What Does Mr. Irrelevant Mean?

Mr. Irrelevant is an honor and nickname given to the final pick of the annual NFL draft that has a storied history dating back to 1976. 

Mr. Irrelevant History

Mr. Irrelevant began in 1976 when former USC and NFL receiver Paul Salata (a 10th-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 1951) began honoring the final pick of the draft with a series of annual events in Newport Beach, Calif., including the annual — and very popular — Lowsman Banquet, which celebrates the newest member of the club. It is there where Mr. Irrelevant is presented the Lowsman Trophy, which displays a player fumbling the ball. The week also includes a visit to Disneyland and a golf tournament with the player and his family.

Most Notable Mr. Irrelevants

Brock Purdy

2022: QB Brock Purdy

Quarterback Brock Purdy, the 262 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Iowa State, came in relief for 49ers starting QB Jimmy Garropolo in Week 13 of the 2022 NFL season. With the injury to Garoppolo, Purdy could be the starter for the 49ers for the rest of the 2022 season. In his Week 13 showing, he became the first Mr. Irrelevant to ever throw an NFL touchdown pass. Purdy is a 6’1 220 lb QB out of Iowa State, where he threw 81 TDs and 33 INTs during his four years as a starter. During his time, he additionally rushed for 1,177 yards and 19 TDs. 

LB Tae Crowder

Year Drafted: 2020 | NFL Seasons: 3 | Teams: Giants

The linebacker out of Georgia started six games as a rookie for the Giants in 2020 and had more playing time than Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin and T.J. Brunson — linebackers the Giants selected ahead of him in the draft.. He started every game in 2021 and led the Giants with 130 tackles and also also recorded two interceptions and a forced fumble. Crowder became the second player drafted as Mr. Irrelevant out of the University of Georgia after Donald Chumley was drafted pick 336 in the 1985 pick.

Kicker Ryan Succop

Year Drafted: 2009 | NFL Seasons: 14 | Teams: Chiefs, Titans, Buccaneers

In his 14th NFL season, Succop was originally drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs out of South Carolina. He spent the first five years of his career with the Chiefs, the next six with the Tennessee Titans, and has been with the Tampa Buccaneers the last three seasons. In 2021, Succop led the NFL in extra points attempted (59) and made (56). He is currently 16th among active players in games started (210 through Week 12 of 2022).

Patriots LB Marty Moore

Year Drafted: 1994 | NFL Seasons: 8 | Teams: Patriots, Browns

The linebacker was inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Moore was drafted by the New England Patriots, where he spent his first six NFL seasons, then played a year in Cleveland before finishing his final season back in New England. In 2001, Moore became the first Mr. Irrelevant to play in a Super Bowl. He played in 112 career games, intercepted three passes, recovered two fumbles and had 173 combined tackles. In 2000 with the Browns, Moore started the most games of his eight-year career. In nine starts that season, he collected a career-high 90 tackles.

Past Mr. Irrelevants

The history of every final pick of the draft since 1994, the year the NFL reduced the draft to seven rounds:

Year Name Team Position College
1994 Marty Moore Patriots LB Kentucky
1995 Michael Reed Panthers DB Boston College
1996 Sam Manuel 49ers LB New Mexico State
1997 Ronnie McAda Packers QB Army
1998 Cam Quayle Ravens TE Weber State
1999 Jim Finn Bears RB Pennsylvania
2000 Michael Green Bears DB Northwestern State
2001 Tevita Ofahengaue Cardinals TE BYU
2002 Ahmad Miller Texans DT UNLV
2003 Ryan Hoag Raiders WR Gustavus Adolphus
2004 Andre Sommersell Raiders LB Colorado State
2005 Andy Stokes Patriots TE William Penn
2006 Kevin McMahan Raiders WR Maine
2007 Ramzee Robinson Lions CB Alabama
2008 David Vobora Rams OLB Idaho
2009 Ryan Succop Chiefs K South Carolina
2010 Tim Toone Lions WR Weber State
2011 Cheta Ozougwu Texans DE Rice
2012 Chandler Harnish Colts QB Northern Illinois
2013 Justice Cunningham Colts TE South Carolina
2014 Lonnie Ballentine Texans S Memphis
2015 Gerald Christian Cardinals TE Louisville
2016 Kalan Reed Titans CB Southern Miss
2017 Chad Kelly Broncos QB Ole Miss
2018 Trey Quinn Commanders WR SMU
2019 Caleb Wilson Cardinals TE UCLA
2020 Tae Crowder Giants LB Georgia
2021 Grant Stuard Buccaneers LB Houston
2022 Brock Purdy 49ers QB Iowa State
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