Monday, June 24, 2024

Full list of Mr. Irrelevants in NFL draft history: Is Brock Purdy already the best final pick?

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The nickname “Mr. Irrelevant” — given to the player selected as the last pick in the NFL draft — has been used for decades, but San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy rekindled interest in the topic last season. On Saturday, Alabama safety Jaylen Key became the latest to wear the tag when the New York Jets selected him with the 257th and final pick of the 2024 NFL draft.

Johnson will look to scale the same heights as Purdy, who took over the starting job in Week 14 after then-starter Jimmy Garoppolo went out with a foot injury and eventually lifted the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. He became the only Mr. Irrelevant QB in the common draft era (since 1967) to start and win a playoff game. In his five regular-season and three playoff starts, Purdy ranked third in QBR (68.9), fifth in completion percentage (67.4%) and tied for third in passing touchdowns (14) before suffering an elbow injury. He had surgery on March 10.

Other notable Mr. Irrelevants include kicker Ryan Succop (2009) — a Super Bowl LV winner with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers whose 82.9% field goal percentage ranks 37th in NFL history, according to Pro Football Reference — and linebacker Tae Crowder (2020), who had 232 total tackles, two sacks and two interceptions in three seasons for the New York Giants before being signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The nickname and Mr. Irrelevant Week — a celebration and charity event — were created by former player Paul Salata to celebrate the underdog. There have been many Mr. Irrelevants since Kelvin Kirk became the first in 1976. Here’s the complete list:

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2020s | 2010s | 2000s
1990s | 1980s | 1970s

2024

Jaylen Key, S, New York Jets
Pick No. 257
College: Alabama

2023

Desjuan Johnson, DE, Los Angeles Rams
Pick No. 259
College: Toledo

2022

Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Pick: No. 262
College: Iowa State

2021

Grant Stuard, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: No. 259
College: Houston

2020

Tae Crowder, LB, New York Giants
Pick: No. 255
College: Georgia

2019

Caleb Wilson, TE, Arizona Cardinals
Pick: No. 254
College: UCLA

2018

Trey Quinn, WR, Washington
Pick: No. 256
College: SMU

2017

Chad Kelly, QB, Denver Broncos
Pick: No. 253
College: Ole Miss

2016

Kalan Reed, CB, Tennessee Titans
Pick: No. 253
College: Southern Miss

2015

Gerald Christian, TE, Arizona Cardinals
Pick: No. 256
College: Louisville

2014

Lonnie Ballentine, S, Houston Texans
Pick: No. 256
College: Memphis

2013

Justice Cunningham, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Pick: No. 254
College: South Carolina

2012

Chandler Harnish, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Pick: No. 253
College: Northern Illinois

2011

Cheta Ozougwu, DE, Houston Texans
Pick: No. 254
College: Rice

2010

Tim Toone, WR, Detroit Lions
Pick: No. 255
College: Weber State

2009

Ryan Succop, K, Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: No. 256
College: South Carolina

2008

David Vobora, OLB, St. Louis Rams
Pick: No. 252
College: Idaho

2007

Ramzee Robinson, CB, Detroit Lions
Pick: No. 255
College: Alabama

2006

Kevin McMahan, WR, Oakland Raiders
Pick: No. 255
College: Maine

2005

Andy Stokes, TE, New England Patriots
Pick: No. 255
College: William Penn

2004

Andre Sommersell, LB, Oakland Raiders
Pick: No. 255
College: Colorado State

2003

Ryan Hoag, WR, Oakland Raiders
Pick: No. 262
College: Gustavus Adolphus

2002

Ahmad Miller, DT, Houston Texans
Pick: No. 261
College: UNLV

2001

Tevita Ofahengaue, TE, Arizona Cardinals
Pick: No. 246
College: BYU

2000

Michael Green, DB, Chicago Bears
Pick: No. 254
College: Northwestern State

1999

Jim Finn, FB, Chicago Bears
Pick: No. 253
College: Pennsylvania

1998

Cam Quayle, TE, Baltimore Ravens
Pick: No. 241
College: Weber State

1997

Ronnie McAda, QB, Green Bay Packers
Pick: No. 240
College: Army

1996

Sam Manuel, LB, San Francisco 49ers
Pick: No. 254
College: New Mexico State

1995

Michael Reed, DB, Carolina Panthers
Pick: No. 249
College: Boston College

1994

Marty Moore, LB, New England Patriots
Pick: No. 222
College: Kentucky

1993

Daron Alcorn, K, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: No. 224
College: Akron

1992

Matt Elliott, C, Washington
Pick: No. 336
College: Michigan

1991

Larry Wanke, QB, New York Giants
Pick: No. 334
College: John Carroll

1990

Demetrius Davis, TE, Los Angeles Raiders
Pick: No. 331
College: Nevada

1989

Everett Ross, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Pick: No. 335
College: Ohio State

1988

Jeff Beathard, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Pick: No. 333
College: Southern Oregon

1987

Norman Jefferson, DB, Green Bay Packers
Pick: No. 335
College: LSU

1986

Mike Travis, DB, San Diego Chargers
Pick: No. 333
College: Georgia Tech

1985

Donald Chumley, DT, San Francisco 49ers
Pick: No. 336
College: Georgia

1984

Randy Essington, QB, Los Angeles Raiders
Pick: No. 336
College: Colorado

1983

John Tuggle, RB, New York Giants
Pick: No. 335
College: California

1982

Tim Washington, DB, San Francisco 49ers
Pick: No. 334
College: Fresno State

1981

Phil Nelson, TE, Oakland Raiders
Pick: No. 332
College: Delaware

1980

Tyrone McGriff, G, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: No. 333
College: Florida A&M

1979

Mike Almond, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: No. 330
College: Northwestern State

1978

Lee Washburn, G, Dallas Cowboys
Pick: No. 334
College: Montana State

1977

Jim Kelleher, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Pick: No. 335
College: Colorado

1976

Kelvin Kirk, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: No. 487
College: Dayton

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