Breakdowns

The Legacy and History of Mr. Irrelevant

History of Mr. Irrelevant

For the 56th time in the history of the NFL draft, the draft commenced its three day celebration by the selection of Mr. Irrelevant. Quarterback Brock Purdy from Iowa State received the title for this year’s draft after being picked NO. 262 overall in round 7.  

Purdy was a four year starter for the Cyclones. He was the 2018 Big 12 Freshman of the year, and two time All Big 12 selection (2021, 2020). Purdy threw for 12,170 yds and 81 touchdowns in his career at Iowa State, and is the 6th quarterback to be selected as Mr. Irrelevant since the title was recognized in 1976.

The draft began in 1936, but the first official title of Mr. Irrelevant was 40 years later in 1976. Kelvin Kirk was pick No. 487 in round 17 out of Dayton University by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He would never play for Steelers, and instead took his talents to the Canadian Football League, where he would spend eight seasons.

The most decorated and longest tenured Mr. Irrelevant was the 43rd athlete to have the honor of owning this title; Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop. Succop was picked No. 256 overall in round 7 of the 2009 draft to the Kansas City Chiefs. During his rookie year, he led all rookies in points (104), and received the Mack Lee Hill award given to the Kansas Chiefs Rookie of the Year  He is entering his 14th season and his third team.  He is the only Mr. Irrelevant to start and win a Super Bowl.

ir·​rel·​e·​vantNot connected with or relevant to something.   

Based on this definition, how connected is Mr. Irrelevant to the rest of draftees in their draft class? Athletes with the title Mr. Irrelevant on average have played 11.2 games.  

Only three of the last 10 Mr. Irrelevants still play professional football. Out of those three, only two are still on NFL rosters. 2021 Mr. Irrelevant Grant Stuard (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and 2020 Mr. Irrelevant Tae Crowder (New York Giants); both are linebackers. The third Mr. Irrelevant still playing is the 51st athlete to have the honor of this title, quarterback Chad Kelly.  The nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, he spent two seasons with the Broncos and Colts before being picked up by the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.

Paul Solota, a University of Southern California wide receiver, started “Mr. Irrelevant Week” in Newport Beach, California. The athlete given the honor Mr. Irrelevant,  and his family, are treated to a week at Disneyland, a golf tournament, and many other events.

For Purdy, being selected as Mr. Irrelevant is a celebration of being drafted and welcomed into the NFL, but also means that he will need to get to work to stick around the league long term.

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