The 2019 NFL Draft is under way, and with it an endless list of prospects and names that many fans have never heard about. While much is made about who goes in pick Nos. 1-32, some of the most impactful players aren’t selected until Friday or Saturday.
The dictionary definition of late-round value in the NFL Draft is none other than Tom Brady, the 199th overall pick, selected in the sixth round out of Michigan. The now six-time Super Bowl champion was virtually unheard of entering the 2000 draft and is now arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.
The Arizona Cardinals held the first pick in this year’s draft under the guidance of first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury, selecting Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray despite drafting fellow quarterback Josh Rosen with the 10th pick of the 2018 draft.
While Murray was arguably the biggest story of the 2019 draft’s first night, the final pick of the draft – referred to as Mr. Irrelevant – holds a special place in many fans’ hearts searching for an underdog to root for.
What pick is Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL Draft?
Mr. Irrelevant is the title bestowed upon the final player selected in the draft. This year, the Cardinals, who coincidentally also hold the first pick of the draft, hold the final pick in the draft with the 254th selection.
Mr. Irrelevant got its start in 1976 when former 49ers and Colts receiver Paul Salata created a series of events known as “Irrelevant Week” to celebrate the final pick. The week consists of inviting Mr. Irrelevant and his family to spend a week in Newport Beach where they enjoy a trip to Disneyland, a golf tournament and a feast of their choosing that includes a ceremony awarding Mr. Irrelevant the Lowsman Trophy – a statue mimicking the Heisman, but with a player fumbling a football.
The Los Angeles Rams have traded for the final pick in the NFL Draft aka “Mr. Irrelevant.” The player will be honored during “Irrelevant Week” this summer in Newport Beach, Calif. and awarded the Lowsman Trophy, which mimics the Heisman but depicts a player fumbling a football. pic.twitter.com/MJXeOhwPXi
– Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 28, 2018
Dayton wide receiver Kelvin Kirk became the first Mr. Irrelevant when he was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 487th pick of a 17-round NFL Draft in 1976. Salata read the final selection at every draft from 1976 to 2013, when he passed the duty on to his daughter.
How many rounds, picks are in the NFL Draft?
- Rounds: 1-7
- Total picks: 254 (2019)
This year’s NFL Draft features seven rounds for a total of 254 picks – with two picks forfeited.
Each of the 32 franchises are awarded a selection in each round based on its record in the previous season. In addition, 32 compensatory picks are given to teams based on who they gained or lost in free agency.
This would typically put the draft at 256 picks, but the New York Giants and Washington Redskins each forfeited a pick after taking players in the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft. Teams have 10 minutes to make their choice in the first round, 7 minutes in the second round, 5 minutes in the third through sixth rounds and 4 minutes in the seventh round.
The first draft was held in Philadelphia in 1936, consisting of nine rounds and 81 picks. Jay Berwanger went first overall to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Since then, the draft has undergone several format changes as the league has expanded. It peaked in 1950 with a total of 30 rounds and slowly whittled its way down to the current seven-round format in 1994. It changed from a two-day, Saturday and Sunday affair to its current three-day, Thursday-Saturday extravaganza in 2010 in order to maximize primetime television coverage.
Who was Mr. Irrelevant in 2018?
Trey Quinn, a wide receiver out of SMU, became Mr. Irrelevant last year when the Washington Redskins drafted him with the 256th pick. Quinn injured his ankle in the first game of the season and was placed on the injured reserve list until Nov. 14. He caught nine passes for 75 yards and a touchdown before re-injuring his ankle and being placed back on injured reserve Dec. 5.
Has Mr. Irrelevant ever made an NFL team?
Although none are likely destined for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, many Mr. Irrelevants have gone on to have lengthy NFL careers, albeit not in the spotlight. Marty Moore, 1994’s Mr. Irrelevant, became the first of his Irrelevant brethren to play in a Super Bowl. Moore played for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI and was a part of the championship-winning 2001 Patriots team. Moore finished his career with 110 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Jim Finn, the final pick in 1999, played seven seasons, including three as a fullback for the New York Giants blocking for Tiki Barber as Barber amassed a franchise-record 1,860 yards in 2005. Finn also caught 60 passes from Eli and Peyton Manning in four seasons on the Giants and three on the Colts.
Perhaps the most successful Mr. Irrelevant is 2009’s Ryan Succop. The Kansas City Chiefs kicker tied the NFL record for highest field goal percentage by a rookie in a season at an 86.2 percent clip. Succop is a current member of the Tennessee Titans and sits 11th on the active NFL scoring list with 1,019 points.
List of every Mr. Irrelevant in NFL draft history
|Year||Name||Team (Pos.)||Game Appearances|
|2018||Trey Quinn||Redskins (WR)||3|
|2017||Chad Kelly||Broncos (QB)||1|
|2016||Kalan Reed||Titans (CB)||7|
|2015||Gerald Christian||Cardinals (TE)||3|
|2014||Lonnie Ballentine||Texans (S)||4|
|2013||Justice Cunningham||Colts (TE)||3|
|2012||Chandler Harnish||Colts (QB)||0|
|2011||Cheta Ozougwu||Texans (DE)||9|
|2010||Tim Toone||Lions (WR)||0|
|2009||Ryan Succop||Chiefs (K)||160|
|2008||David Vobora||Rams (OLB)||40|
|2007||Ramzee Robinson||Lions (CB)||26|
|2006||Kevin McMahan||Raiders (WR)||0|
|2005||Andy Stokes||Patriots (TE)||0|
|2004||Andre Sommersell||Raiders (LB)||0|
|2003||Ryan Hoag||Raiders (WR)||0|
|2002||Ahmad Miller||Texans (DT)||0|
|2001||Tevita Ofahengaue||Cardinals (TE)||0|
|2000||Michael Green||Bears (DB)||104|
|1999||Jim Finn||Bears (RB)||106|
|1998||Cam Quayle||Ravens (TE)||0|
|1997||Ronnie McAda||Packers (QB)||0|
|1996||Sam Manuel||49ers (LB)||0|
|1995||Michael Reed||Panthers (DB)||0|
|1994||Marty Moore||Patriots (LB)||112|
|1993||Daron Alcorn||Buccaneers (K)||0|
|1992||Matt Elliott||Redskins (C)||63|
|1991||Larry Wanke||Giants (QB)||0|
|1990||Demetrius Davis||Raiders (TE)||0|
|1989||Everett Ross||Vikings (WR)||0|
|1988||Jeff Beathard||Rams (WR)||0|
|1987||Norman Jefferson||Packers (DB)||14|
|1986||Mike Travis||Chargers (DB)||0|
|1985||Donald Chumley||49ers (DT)||0|
|1984||Randy Essington||Raiders (QB)||0|
|1983||John Tuggle||Giants (RB)||16|
|1982||Tim Washington||49ers (DB)||2|
|1981||Phil Nelson||Raiders (TE)||0|
|1980||Tyrone McGriff||Steelers (G)||36|
|1979||Mike Almond||Steelers (WR)||0|
|1978||Lee Washburn||Cowboys (G)||0|
|1977||Jim Kelleher||Vikings (RB)||0|
|1976||Kelvin Kirk||Steelers (WR)||0|