History of Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL Draft

Learn More About the Notable Irrelevants

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Over the years, the last player selected in the annual NFL Draft has been historically dubbed, Mr. Irrelevant. The name evolved because the last pick in the draft was often considered irrelevant because the player failed many times to make the selecting team's roster. 

History of the Nickname

Although the NFL Draft started in 1936, the Mr. Irrelevant moniker did not start until 1976 when Kelvin Kirk was selected 487th in the NFL draft that year and bestowed the Mr. Irrelevant Award.

Former NFL receiver, Paul Salata, started the Mr. Irrelevant Award, which he called the "Lowsman Trophy," a spoof on the Heisman Trophy, college football's highest honor. The trophy depicts a player fumbling a football. During the summer after the draft, the new Mr. Irrelevant and his family are invited to spend an "Irrelevant Week" in Newport Beach, California, where they enjoy a golf tournament, a regatta, as well as a draftee roast and award ceremony.

Irrelevant Week with Salata in Newport Beach gained so much publicity that by 1979, during the NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers intentionally passed in the draft wanting to have the last pick. The NFL Commissioner forced the teams to pick and created a new rule, the "Salata Rule," which prohibits teams from passing to get the final pick.

Relevant Achievements

Although the odds are stacked against the Mr. Irrelevants, there were a handful of players with some noteworthy achievements.

Marty Moore from the 1994 Draft became the first Mr. Irrelevant to play in a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI. Mr. Irrelevant 2000, Mike Green, played a significant role in the Chicago Bears secondary from 2000 to 2008. Giants fullback Jim Finn was Mr. Irrelevant in 1999. He played four seasons with the Giants and was instrumental in getting the Giants to Super Bowl XLII, which the Giants won. 

2009 Mr. Irrelevant, Ryan Succop, a starting star kicker since his rookie season for the Kansas City Chiefs and then the Tennessee Titans, has tied the NFL record for the highest field goal percentage by a rookie in a season with 86.2 percent and also passed NFL Hall of Famer Jan Stenerud for the most field goals made by a rookie in Chiefs history. He scored 104 points in his rookie year, the most of any other rookie. Succop was also named to the NFL's All-Rookie team his first year. In 2014, he was signed to the Tennessee Titans. In 2016, Succop earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after achieving the game-winning 53-yard field goal in the final seconds of a Week 15 game against his former team, the Chiefs. 

Although he never played college football, Jimmy Walker was the final NFL pick of 1967 by the New Orleans Saints. Although dead last in the NFL draft, he was the first pick in the 1967 NBA draft and opted for a career in the NBA. Walker is the only athlete in pro ball history to be drafted first by one professional league and last by another. He predated the Mr. Irrelevant nickname and award ceremony. He went on to have a nine-year professional career with the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, and Kansas City Kings.

Mr. Irrelevant Winners

Year Player NFL Team Player, Position/College
2016 253rd Tennessee Titans Kalan Reed, CB/Southern Mississippi
2015 256th Arizona Cardinals Gerald Christian, TE/Louisville
2014 256th Houston Texans Lonnie Ballentine, S/Memphis
2013 254th Indianapolis Colts Justice Cunningham, TE/South Carolina
2012 253rd Indianapolis Colts Chandler Harnish, QB/NIU
2011 254th Houston Texans Cheta Ozougwu, DE/Rice University
2010 255th Detroit Lions Tim Toone, WR/Weber State
2009 256th Kansas City Chiefs Ryan Succop, K/South Carolina
2008 252nd St. Louis Rams David Vobora, LB/Idaho
2007 255th Detroit Lions Ramzee Robinson, CB/Alabama
2006 255th Oakland Raiders Kevin McMahan, WR/Maine
2005 255th New England Patriots Andy Stokes, TE/William & Penn
2004 255th Oakland Raiders Andre Sommersell, OLB/Colorado State
2003 262nd Oakland Raiders Ryan Hoag, WR/Gustavus Adolphus
2002 261st Houston Texans Ahmad Miller, DT/UNLV
2001 246th Arizona Cardinals Tevita Ofahengaue, TE/Brigham Young
2000 254th Chicago Bears Michael Green, DB/NW Louisiana
1999 253rd Chicago Bears James Finn, RB/Pennsylvania
1998 241st Baltimore Ravens Cam Quayle, TE/Weber State
1997 240th Green Bay Packers Ronnie McAda, QB/Army
1996 254th San Francisco 49ers Sam Manuel, LB/New Mexico State
1995 249th Caroline Panthers Michael Reed, DB/Boston College
1994 222nd New England Patriots Marty Moore, LB/Kentucky
1993 224th Tampa Bay Buccaneers Daron Alcorn, K/Akron
1992 336th Washington Redskins Matt Elliott, C/Michigan
1991 334th New York Giants Larry Wanke, QB/John Carroll
Year Player NFL Team Player, Position/College
1990 331st Los Angeles Raiders Demetrius Davis, TE/Nevada
1989 335th Minnesota Vikings Everett Ross, WR/Ohio State
1988 333rd Los Angeles Rams Jeff Bethard, WR/Southern Oregon State
1987 335th Green Bay Packers Norman Jefferson, DB/Louisiana State
1986 333rd San Diego Chargers Mike Travis, DB/Georgia Tech
1985 336th San Francisco 49ers Donald Chumley, DT/Georgia
1984 336th Los Angeles Raiders Randy Essington, QB/Colorado
1983 335th New York Giants John Tuggle, RB/California
1982 334th San Francisco 49ers Tim Washington, DB/Fresno State
1981 332nd Oakland Raiders Phil Nelson, TE/Delaware
1980 333rd Pittsburgh Steelers Tyrone McGriff, G/Florida A&M
1979 330th Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Almond, WR/NW Louisiana
1978 334th Dallas Cowboys Lee Washburn, G/Montana State
1977 335th Oakland Raiders Rolf Benirshke, K/California-Davis
1976 487th Pittsburgh Steelers Kelvin Kirk, WR/Dayton
1975 442nd Pittsburgh Steelers Stan Hegener, G/Nebraska
1974 442nd Miami Dolphins Ken Dickerson, DB/Tuskegee
1973 442nd Miami Dolphins Charles Wade, WR/Tennessee State
1972 442nd Dallas Cowboys Alphonson Cain, DT/Bethune-Cookman
1971 442nd Oakland Raiders Charles Hill, WR/Sam Houston State
1970 442nd Kansas City Chiefs Rayford Jenkins, DB/Alcorn A&M
1969 442nd New York Jets Fred Zirkie, DT/Duke
1968 462nd Cincinnati Bengals Jimmy Smith, TE/Jackson State
1967 445th New Orleans Saints Jimmy Walker, WR/Providence
1966 305th Baltimore Colts Tomm Carr, T/Morgan State
1965 280th Baltimore Colts George Haffner, QB/McNeese State
1964 280th Chicago Bears Dick Niglio, RB/Yale
1963 280th Green Bay Packers Bobby Brezina, B/Houston
1962 280th Green Bay Packers Mike Snodgrass, C/Western Michigan
1961 280th Philadelphia Eagles Jacque MacKinnon, B/Colgate
Year Player NFL Team Player, Position/College
1960 240th New York Giants Bill Gorman, T/McMurry
1959 360th Baltimore Colts Blair Weese, B/West Virginia Tech
1958 360th Detroit Lions Tommy Bronson, B/Tennessee
1957 360th New York Giants Don Gest, E/Washington State
1956 360th Cleveland Browns Bob Bartholomew, T/Wake Forest
1955 360th Cleveland Browns Lamar Leachman, C/Tennessee
1954 360th Detroit Lions Ellis Horton, B/Eureka (IL)
1953 360th Detroit Lions Hal Maus, E/Montana
1952 360th Cleveland Browns John Saban, B/Xavier
1951 362nd Cleveland Browns Sisto Averno, G/Muhlenberg
1950 391st Philadelphia Eagles Dud Parker, B/Baylor
1949 251st Philadelphia Eagles John (Bull) Schweder, G/Pennsylvania
1948 300th Chicago Cardinals Bill Fischer, G/Notre Dame
1947 300th New York Giants Don Clayton, B/North Carolina
1946 300th Los Angeles Rams John West, B/Oklahoma
1945 330th Green Bay Packers Billy Joe Aldridge, B/Oklahoma State
1944 330th Boston Yanks Walton Roberts, B/Texas
1943 300th Washington Redskins Bo Bogovich, G/Delaware
1942 200th Chicago Bears Stu Clarkson, C Texas A&I
1941 204th Pittsburgh Steelers Mort Landsbert, B/Cornell
1940 200th New York Giants Myron Claxton, T/Whittier
1939 200th New York Giants Jack Rhodes, G/Texas
1938 110th Chicago Bears Ferd Dreher, E/Denver
1937 100th Cleveland Rams Solon Holt, G/Texas Christian
1936 81st New York Giants Phil Flanagan, G/Holy Cross