Brock Purdy featured in our most relevant Mr. Irrelevant picks and history

Most Relevant Mr. Irrelevant: Is Purdy The First Of The Last?

Picture this – you’ve spent your entire life working toward making your passion for football into a career. You’ve dreamt about making it into the professional leagues and the time has finally come. You’re in the green room at the NFL draft and your goal is so close you can touch it. But the last pick is next and it’s your final chance. The nerves settle as you hear your name called. You’ve waited for this moment forever and you can’t wait to celebrate. Then you realize, you’re not just any NFL player – you’re Mr. Irrelevant, the very last pick of the NFL draft.

Sure, most of them don’t amount to much – no offense. But, sometimes, though not very often, Mr. Irrelevant can actually become quite relevant. 

Who Is the most Recent Mr. Irrelevant?

If you’ve been watching the 2022-23 NFL season, then you know San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy has paired his Mr. Irrelevant title with success. The third-stringer took over for starter Jimmy Garoppolo after he suffered an ankle injury early in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins. Purdy came on in relief to complete 25 of 37 attempts for 210 yards and two touchdowns, sinking the Dolphins 33-17. 

Since then, the 22-year-old out of Iowa State has not lost, carrying a 7-0 record into the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. He threw for nearly 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns to close out the regular season, then added three scoring strikes in a 41-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Wild Card Weekend. The final selection in the 2022 NFL Draft has thrown two or more touchdown passes in each of his seven performances.

Purdy has become an immediate success and a media celebrity, with everyone eager to see where he leads the 49ers in the playoffs. Is he the best last pick to date? I’m not going to be the one responsible for jinxing it. Only time on the field will tell but who else is among the competition to be considered the most relevant Mr. Irrelevant?

Top 5 Most Relevant Mr. Irrelevants

#5: Marty Moore

Moore was selected at the end of the seventh round of the 1994 draft by the New England Patriots. The linebacker didn’t turn too many heads off the jump, recording 83 tackles in 96 games during his six seasons with the Pats. 

The Kentucky product waited for his two final professional years to turn up the heat. Spending a season with the Cleveland Browns, Moore put up a career-high 90 tackles, four forced fumbles and one interception. In his final season in 2001, he returned to New England to close the chapter where it started. Though he made it onto the field just three times, Moore became the first Mr. Irrelevant to wear a Super Bowl ring when the Pats defeated the then St. Louis Rams 20-17 in Super Bowl 36. That’s gotta count for something, right?

#4: Tyrone McGriff

Tyrone McGriff walked so Marty Moore could run. Before Moore was drafted in 1994, McGriff was considered the best Mr. Irrelevant by most. The linebacker was drafted in 1980 by the Pittsburgh Steelers and made the NFL All-Rookie Team. After three years in the NFL, the Florida native moved on to play in the inaugural year of the United States Football League. He joined the Michigan Panthers, where he earned a championship and a spot on the all-star team that same year. McGriff was one of the first Mr. Irrelevants to make waves in his rookie season. 

#3: Mike Green 

Drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2000, the defensive back truly broke out in his second year, earning 70 combined tackles. That was enough for him to be promoted to a starter for the following two seasons, when he earned over 170 combined tackles. He retired in 2008 with 434 combined tackles and though his stats may not show it, football fans know he was a reliable, sturdy starting and secondary defensive back with the Bears. Not a bad deal for Chicago to pick him up at 254th overall.

#2: Tae Crowder

Relatively new to the league, Tae Crowder was drafted in the final round in 2020 by the New York Giants. The linebacker played for the Georgia Bulldogs and was a semifinalist for the Dick Butkus Award that honors the best linebacker in college football. In his rookie season, the 25-year-old managed to work his way to start in six games before being felled by a hamstring injury. 

In 2021, the Mr. Irrelevant had his breakout. He led the Giants with 130 total tackles while starting in all 17 contests. He didn’t have the same success in 2022, making a combined 45 tackles in 13 games (eight starts), and was signed by the Steelers in December after being waived by the Giants. Crowder is still young and has plenty of opportunity to become a decorated and notable Mr. Irrelevant as his career continues.

#1: Ryan Succop

Not only was Succop drafted 256th overall, but he was also a kicker and holds on to the No. 1 spot in our rankings – talk about defying the odds. The South Carolina product’s name was called at the end of the 2009 draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Right off the bat, Succop showcased himself. In his rookie season, he set a Chiefs franchise rookie record by sinking 25 field goals and tied the league rookie record with a field-goal percentage of 86.2.

In 2020, he moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, breaking records there too by collecting 136 points in one season. In his 14-year career, he has surpassed 100 points on 10 occasions. In the final play of Super Bowl 55, Succop booted a 52-yard field goal to add to the Bucs’ 31-9 championship win. To this day, the 36-year-old is still showing off his leg, ranking in the league’s top 15 with nearly 120 points this season. He is the poster boy for what all Mr. Irrelevants aspire to be – relevant!

Mr. Irrelevants Through NFL Draft History

First coined in 1976 by former pro Paul Salata, the term “Mr. Irrelevant” was meant to celebrate the final pick of the draft to lessen the chance of the player being overlooked. I guess the second-last pick gets nothing, eh, Paul? Here’s a look at each player to be given the nickname over the decades.

Mr. Irrelevant Through NFL History
2022Brock Purdy (QB)San Francisco 49ers
2021Grant Stuard (LB)Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020Tae Crowder (LB)New York Giants
2019Caleb Wilson (TE)Arizona Cardinals
2018Trey Quinn (WR)Washington Commanders
2017Chad Kelly (QB)Denver Broncos
2016Kalan Reed (CB)Tennessee Titans
2015Gerald Christian (TE)Arizona Cardinals
2014Lonnie Ballentine (S)Houston Texans
2013Justice Cunningham (TE)Indianapolis Colts
2012Chandler Harnish (QB)Indianapolis Colts
2011Cheta Ozougwu (DE)Houston Texans
2010Tim Toone (WR)Detroit Lions
2009Ryan Succop (K)Kansas City Chiefs
2008David Vobora (OLB)Los Angeles Rams
2007Ramzee Robinson (CB)Detroit Lions
2006Kevin McMahan (WR)Las Vegas Raiders
2005Andy Stokes (TE)New England Patriots
2004Andre Sommersell (LB)Las Vegas Raiders
2003Ryan Hoag (WR)Las Vegas Raiders
2002Ahmad Miller (DT)Houston Texans
2001Tevita Ofahengaue (TE)Arizona Cardinals
2000Michael Green (DB)Chicago Bears
1999Jim Finn (RB)Chicago Bears
1998Cam Quayle (TE)Baltimore Ravens
1997Ronnie McAda (QB)Green Bay Packers
1996Sam Manuel (LB)San Francisco 49ers
1995Michael Reed (DB)Carolina Panthers
1994Marty Moore (LB)New England Patriots
1993Daron Alcorn (K)Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1992Matt Elliott (C)Washington Commanders
1991Larry Wanke (QB)New York Giants
1990Demetrius Davis (TE)Las Vegas Raiders
1989Everett Ross (WR)Minnesota Vikings
1988Jeff Beathard (WR)Los Angeles Rams
1987Norman Jefferson (DB)Green Bay Packers
1986Mike Travis (DB)Los Angeles Chargers
1985Donald Chumley (DT)San Francisco 49ers
1984Randy Essington (QB)Las Vegas Raiders
1983John Tuggle (RB)New York Giants
1982Tim Washington (DB)San Francisco 49ers
1981Phil Nelson (TE)Las Vegas Raiders
1980Tyrone McGriff (G)Pittsburgh Steelers
1979Mike Almond (WR)Pittsburgh Steelers
1978Lee Washburn (G)Dallas Cowboys
1977Jim Kelleher (RB)Minnesota Vikings
1976Kelvin Kirk (WR)Pittsburgh Steelers

Mr. Irrelevant FAQ

What Is Mr. Irrelevant?

Mr. Irrelevant is a nickname coined for the final pick of the NFL draft. The nickname has followed athletes since 1976, invented by former wide receiver Paul Salata, who played two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

What Is The Lowsman Trophy?

After Salata coined the term "Mr. Irrelevant," he created the Lowsman Trophy. The award can be compared to college football's Heisman Trophy, except instead of honoring the best player, it is handed to the last player drafted.

What Is Irrelevant Week?

If the nickname and trophy weren't enough, the last pick of the NFL draft is thrown a ceremony called Irrelevant Week. It is a banquet-style occasion that typically features a roast of the player, gifts for the athlete and visits from prominent sports figures. Irrelevant Week has been celebrated for over four decades, with the event donating over a million dollars to charity in that time period.

Who Is The Most Recent Mr. Irrelevant?

In the 2022 draft, quarterback Brock Purdy was the final pick, selected by the San Francisco 49ers. Taking over for a duo of injured signal-callers, the 22-year-old is undefeated in his first seven games as a starter. 

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