Mr. Irrelevant is the nickname given each year to 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.
"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 where they enjoy a trip to Disneyland, 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.
"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, with the Steelers winning the pick. The incident led to the "Salata Rule", which prohibits teams from passing to get the final pick.
On February 7, 2021, for the first time in the history of the NFL, a Mr. Irrelevant played in and won a Super Bowl, when Ryan Succop was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting placekicker in Super Bowl LV. During that Super Bowl, Succop would kick 4 extra points and a field goal while missing no kicks. He was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the last pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. The Buccaneers would beat Succop's former team, the Chiefs, in Super Bowl LV 31-9.
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 some making significant contributions on the field.
|1978||12||28||334||Lee Washburn||Cowboys||G||Montana State|
|1979||12||27||330||Mike Almond||Steelers||WR||Northwestern State|
|1980||12||28||333||Tyrone McGriff||Steelers||G||Florida A&M|
|1982||12||28||334||Tim Washington||49ers||DB||Fresno State|
|1986||12||28||333||Mike Travis||Chargers||DB||Georgia Tech|
|1988||12||28||333||Jeff Beathard||Rams[c]||WR||Southern Oregon|
|1989||12||28||335||Everett Ross||Vikings[d]||WR||Ohio State|
|1991||12||28||334||Larry Wanke||Giants||QB||John Carroll|
|1995||7||41||249||Michael Reed||Panthers||DB||Boston College|
|1996||7||45||254||Sam Manuel||49ers||LB||New Mexico State|
|1998||7||52||241||Cam Quayle||Ravens||TE||Weber State|
|2000||7||48||254||Michael Green||Bears[i]||DB||Northwestern State|
|2003||7||48||262||Ryan Hoag||Raiders[j]||WR||Gustavus Adolphus|
|2004||7||54||255||Andre Sommersell||Raiders||LB||Colorado State|
|2005||7||41||255||Andy Stokes||Patriots||TE||William Penn|
|2009||7||47||256||Ryan Succop||Chiefs||K||South Carolina|
|2010||7||48||255||Tim Toone||Lions||WR||Weber State|
|2012||7||46||253||Chandler Harnish||Colts||QB||Northern Illinois|
|2013||7||48||254||Justice Cunningham||Colts||TE||South Carolina|
|2016||7||32||253||Kalan Reed||Titans[k]||CB||Southern Miss|
|2017||7||35||253||Chad Kelly||Broncos||QB||Ole Miss|
Prior to the establishment of Mr. Irrelevant, 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.
The last player chosen in the 1961 NFL Draft, Jacque MacKinnon, had a successful 10-season career. However he signed with the San Diego Chargers of the rival American Football League instead of with the Philadelphia Eagles. He appeared in two AFL All-Star Games in 1966 and 1968. He was one of only two Mr. Irrelevants to appear in a Pro Bowl or the equivalent.
The first Mr. Irrelevant to make the Pro Bowl was Bill Fischer, who was the last pick in the 1948 NFL Draft. He was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals after his junior season at Notre Dame. He opted to stay in school, and won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior lineman in 1948. The Cardinals drafted him again in 1949, this time with their first round pick. Fischer made three Pro Bowls in five seasons before retiring at the age of the age of 26 to take an assistant coaching job at Notre Dame.
|1936||9||9||81||Phil Flanagan||Giants||G||Holy Cross|
|1942||22||5||200||Stu Clarkson||Bears||C||Texas A&I|
|1945||32||6||330||Billy Joe Aldridge||Packers||B||Oklahoma A&M|
|1947||32||7||300||Don Clayton||Giants||B||North Carolina|
|1948||32||7||300||Bill Fischer||Cardinals||G||Notre Dame|
|1949||25||10||251||John (Bull) Schweder||Eagles||G||Penn|
|1954||30||11||360||Ellis Horton||Lions||B||Eureka (IL)|
|1956||30||11||360||Bob Bartholomew||Browns||T||Wake Forest|
|1957||30||11||360||Don Gest||Giants||E||Washington State|
|1959||30||12||360||Blair Weese||Colts||B||West Virginia Tech|
|1962||20||14||280||Mike Snodgrass||Packers||C||Western Michigan|
|1965||20||14||280||George Haffner||Colts||QB||McNeese State|
|1966||20||15||305||Tom Carr||Colts||T||Morgan State|
|1968||17||27||462||Jimmy Smith||Bengals||TE||Jackson State|
|1970||17||26||442||Rayford Jenkins||Chiefs||DB||Alcorn A&M|
|1971[m]||17||26||442||Charles Hill||Raiders||WR||Sam Houston State|
|1973||17||26||442||Charles Wade||Dolphins||WR||Tennessee State|