The NFL Draft Mr. Irrelevants who didn’t live up to the name

The NFL Draft Mr. Irrelevants who didn’t live up to the name

Mr. Irrelevant gets plenty of attention in the immediate aftermath of becoming the final selection of the NFL draft every year.

But what about when his 15 minutes of fame — which actually gets stretched out over “Irrelevant Week” — is over?

The Giants will have a firsthand view this year — assuming they don’t trade the pick — as they enter the last day of the 2020 NFL Draft Saturday owning the 255th and final pick. It would be the third time in franchise history the Giants would draft Mr. Irrelevant since the pick gained its name in 1976.

Of the 26 Mr. Irrelevants to be selected since the draft went to a seven-round format in 1994, 14 have gone on to play at least one snap in the regular season. Five have gone on to start at least one game. One even played in a Super Bowl and later won a ring.

The most notable Mr. Irrelevant has been Ryan Succop, who the Chiefs drafted with the final pick of the 2009 draft. The South Carolina product has turned into one of the more dependable kickers in the league over the past 11 seasons, which he has split between the Chiefs and Titans. He has appeared in the most NFL games of any Mr. Irrelevant, coming a long way from watching the draft in 2009 and thinking he wasn’t going to hear his name called.

Ryan Succop
Ryan SuccopAP

“You get the beautiful name Mr. Irrelevant, and it’s definitely something that is a pretty special club,” Succop told the Titans’ website last year. “It’s a cool little fraternity to be a part of. It is kind of funny when you look back and go, ‘Man, I was the very last dude. That was me.’ ”

In 1994, it was Kentucky linebacker Marty Moore, who was picked last by the Patriots. He went on to play in 112 games, including Super Bowl XXXI, a Patriots’ loss to the Packers. In the final year of his career, he played only three games for the Patriots, but still got a ring from Super Bowl XXXVI — becoming the first Mr. Irrelevant to accomplish either Super Bowl feat.

The last Mr. Irrelevant to play for the Giants was fullback Jim Finn. The Bears drafted the Bergen Catholic grad in 1999, but he signed with Big Blue in 2003 and helped open up holes for Tiki Barber until tearing his labrum in 2007, ending his career with 106 games.

Other Mr. Irrelevants to make an impact on the field include Rams linebacker David Vobora (2008) and Bears defensive back Michael Green (2000).

Former NFL receiver Paul Salata gave the pick life of its own in 1976 when he came up with the name “Mr. Irrelevant,” and the ensuing “Irrelevant Week,” which has sent the final pick out to Newport Beach, Calif., for a week of both boasting and roasting. It includes the presentation of the Lowsman Trophy, which looks like the Heisman Trophy except the player has dropped the ball.

“Dad said we should celebrate the last guy just like the first guy. He always thought it was an honor to be drafted at all,” Salata’s daughter, Melanie Fitch told Reuters recently. “Unfortunately, my dad’s not a marketing guy so he coined the term Mr. Irrelevant thinking that was a good idea. Now 45 years later we’re still having to explain to people that being irrelevant is a good thing.”

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