Mr. Irrelevant

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Mr. Irrelevant is the title bestowed each year upon the last pick of the annual National Football League draft. Although the NFL Draft dates back to 1936, the first person to officially be given the "Mr. Irrelevant" title was Kelvin Kirk, pick number 487 of the 1976 draft. The current Mr. Irrelevant is Chad Kelly, former quarterback for the Ole Miss Rebels football team, who was picked 253rd by the Denver Broncos in the 2017 draft.

History[edit]

"Mr. Irrelevant" and "Irrelevant Week" arose in 1976, when former Southern California and NFL receiver Paul Salata founded the event in Newport Beach, California. He continued to announce the final pick of the NFL draft until 2013; from 2014 his daughter took over in announcing the pick. During the summer after the draft, the new Mr. Irrelevant and his family are invited to spend a week in Newport Beach, California, where they enjoy a golf tournament, a regatta, a roast giving advice to the new draftee, and a ceremony awarding him the Lowsman Trophy. The trophy mimics the Heisman, 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. The incident led to the "Salata Rule", which prohibits teams from passing to get the final pick.[2]

Notable "winners"[edit]

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 significant contributions on the field.

One "Mr. Irrelevant" (who actually predated the award by nearly a decade) went on to a productive professional career in another sport. Jimmy Walker was the final pick in 1967 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.[7]

The 2017 "Mr. Irrelevant" was Chad Kelly, a quarterback from three different colleges, most recently the University of Mississippi. His uncle is Jim Kelly, who was a quarterback himself for the Houston Gamblers of the USFL and the Buffalo Bills of the NFL. Jim Kelly led the Bills to four straight Super Bowls (1990-1993) and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Mr. Irrelevant selections[edit]

Year Round Pick Player Name Team Position College
1976 17 28 487 Kirk, KelvinKelvin Kirk Steelers WR Dayton
1977 12 27 335 Kelleher, JimJim Kelleher Vikings RB Colorado
1978 12 28 334 Washburn, LeeLee Washburn Cowboys G Montana State
1979 12 27 330 Almond, MikeMike Almond Steelers WR Northwestern State
1980 12 28 333 McGriff, TyroneTyrone McGriff Steelers G Florida A&M
1981 12 28 332 Nelson, PhilPhil Nelson Raiders TE Delaware
1982 12 28 334 Washington, TimTim Washington 49ers DB Fresno State
1983 12 28 335 Tuggle, JohnJohn Tuggle Giants RB California
1984 12 28 336 Essington, RandyRandy Essington Raiders QB Colorado
1985 12 28 336 Chumley, DonaldDonald Chumley 49ers DT Georgia
1986 12 28 333 Travis, MikeMike Travis Chargers DB Georgia Tech
1987 12 28 335 Jefferson, NormanNorman Jefferson Packers DB LSU
1988 12 28 333 Beathard, JeffJeff Beathard Rams WR Southern Oregon
1989 12 28 335 Ross, EverettEverett Ross Vikings WR Ohio State
1990 12 27 331 Davis, DemetriusDemetrius Davis Raiders TE Nevada
1991 12 28 334 Wanke, LarryLarry Wanke Giants QB John Carroll
1992 12 28 336 Elliott, MattMatt Elliott Redskins C Michigan
1993 8 28 224 Alcorn, DaronDaron Alcorn Buccaneers K Akron
1994 7 28 222 Moore, MartyMarty Moore Patriots LB Kentucky
1995 7 41 249 Reed, MichaelMichael Reed Panthers DB Boston College
1996 7 45 254 Manuel, SamSam Manuel 49ers LB New Mexico State
1997 7 39 240 McAda, RonnieRonnie McAda Packers QB Army
1998 7 52 241 Quayle, CamCam Quayle Ravens TE Weber State
1999 7 47 253 Finn, JimJim Finn Bears RB Pennsylvania
2000 7 48 254 Green, MichaelMichael Green Bears DB Northwestern State
2001 7 46 246 Ofahengaue, TevitaTevita Ofahengaue Cardinals TE Brigham Young
2002 7 50 261 Miller, AhmadAhmad Miller Texans DT UNLV
2003 7 48 262 Hoag, RyanRyan Hoag Raiders WR Gustavus Adolphus
2004 7 54 255 Sommersell, AndreAndre Sommersell Raiders LB Colorado State
2005 7 41 255 Stokes, AndyAndy Stokes Patriots TE William Penn
2006 7 47 255 McMahan, KevinKevin McMahan Raiders WR Maine
2007 7 45 255 Robinson, RamzeeRamzee Robinson Lions CB Alabama
2008 7 45 252 Vobora, DavidDavid Vobora Rams OLB Idaho
2009 7 47 256 Succop, RyanRyan Succop Chiefs K South Carolina
2010 7 48 255 Toone, TimTim Toone Lions WR Weber State
2011 7 53 254 Ozougwu, ChetaCheta Ozougwu Texans DE Rice
2012 7 46 253 Harnish, ChandlerChandler Harnish Colts QB NIU
2013 7 48 254 Cunningham, JusticeJustice Cunningham Colts TE South Carolina
2014 7 41 256 Ballentine, LonnieLonnie Ballentine Texans S Memphis
2015 7 39 256 Christian, GeraldGerald Christian Cardinals TE Louisville
2016 7 32 253 Reed, KalanKalan Reed Titans[a] CB Southern Miss
2017 7 35 253 Kelly, ChadChad Kelly Broncos[b] QB Mississippi

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Non-compensatory pick, pick traded from the Denver Broncos to the Tennessee Titans prior to selection.
  2. ^ Compensatory selection originally given to the Denver Broncos; from 2017 onwards, compensatory selections may be traded.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Irrelevant Week is pretty, well, relevant". 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". March 10, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2017. 
  4. ^ "NFL Draft 2013: Top 5 most relevant Mr. Irrelevant selections of all time". Retrieved April 29, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "20 NFL draft Mr. Irrelevants who worked their way to (some sort of) relevance". April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 13, 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ May, Peter (July 3, 2007). "Providence hoops legend Jimmy Walker dies at 63". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 8, 2007. 

External links[edit]