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Mr. Irrelevant. A look at the tradition of the last pick

The last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft was quarterback Brock Purdy. But he will go not only to the San Francisco 49ers, but also to Disneyland. The thing is, as the 262nd overall pick in the draft, Pardee was automatically promoted to Mr. Irrelevant.

But as we will explore further below, this title does not put an end to the player’s career. His club could still be an interesting choice to bet on GGbet. Because the most unbelievable things can happen in sports.

What kind of tradition is that?

In the mid-seventies, former University of Southern California and NFL receiver Paul Salata (son of Serbian immigrants) decided to cheer up guys who were picked last in the draft and created an event. The last player selected would receive the ironic nickname “Mr. Irrelevant” and a week-long trip to Newport Beach, California, where he would receive a number of pleasant events: a visit to Disneyland, a golf tournament, a regatta, a roast from a comedian, and the presentation of the symbolic Lowesman Prize (a humorous antonym of the college Heisman Prize): a figure of a player who allows the fumble.

A win-win for everyone. The NFL fueled interest in the final round of the draft, and Paul Salata orchestrated a great publicity stunt for himself and his construction business this way. In the early years, there was so much attention to “Mr. Irrelevant” that in 1979, the Rams, the penultimate pick, purposely burned through all the picking time to let the Steelers get ahead of them. But they did not want to give up the right of last resort, so they too began to stall. A special “Salata Rule” had to be introduced, according to which the last pick rule could not be passed on in the draft.

Salata announced the pick himself until 2013, after which time he became too old to do so. That responsibility has since passed to his daughter. Last October, Paul Salata passed away, one day before his 95th birthday.

Who was the most notable Mr. Irrelevant?

Of course, most of these guys dropped out of the NFL a few years or even months later – the natural selection in the league is tough. Nevertheless, there are some notable players:

Tyrone McGriff was selected by Pittsburgh in the 1980 draft and was named one of the top rookie draft picks in his debut season. In 1983, he moved to the Michigan Panthers from the newly launched USFL and became the new league champion.

John Tuggle in his debut season played five games in the starting lineup of the Giants at fullback and was named the best special team player of the New York club. Sadly, in his second season he was diagnosed with cancer – Tagle no longer played football and died a year and a half later.

Marty Moore became the first Mr. Irrelevant to win a Super Bowl – he did so with the New England Patriots. Naturally, as a special teams player.

Mike Green was a prominent part of the Chicago Bears’ secondary from 2000 to 2008.

Jim Finn was listed as a fullback for the Giants when they won the Super Bowl following the 2007 season.

David Vobora, selected in 2008, was the St. Louis Rams’ starting linebacker for the 2009 season.

Ryan Succop, selected in 2009, was one of the most notable kickers in the NFL. He broke the record for field goal percentage for a rookie, spent a total of 10 years with the Chiefs and Titans, and then won the Super Bowl with Tampa Bay.

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