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Many Mr. Irrelevants Have Gained NFL Relevancy

When the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Houston Cougars linebacker Grant Stuard with the 259th and final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, they assured Stuard of a legacy as the draft’s new Mr. Irrelevant.

Mr. Irrelevant is the nickname given each year to the last pick of the NFL Draft. Since 1976, this fellow has become a cause celebre in the town of Newport Beach, California, where he is welcomed as a conquering hero. The creation of former NFL and USC wide receiver Paul Salaita, the final player chosen in each NFL Draft is annually invited to the town for Irrelevant Week. He and his family enjoy a week of festivities. They are feted with a parade, a regatta, a golf tournament, a trip to Disneyland and a roast where the player is offered advice by his peers and presented with the Lowsman Trophy. The opposite of the Heisman Trophy, which goes to the best player in college football, the Lowsman Trophy is a statue of a player fumbling the football.

Grant Stuard NFL Draft 2021
I would not be shocked if Houston’s Grant Stuard shocked people as Mr. Irrelevant.

If you were to check the odds at any of the sites featured on mytopsportsbooks.com, the chances of them going on to successful NFL careers would logically seem to be a longshot. So it might come as a bit of a surprise to learn that over the years, several Mr. Irrelevants have gone on to gain significant NFL relevancy.

In total, 19 of 44 Mr. Irrelevants have gone on to play in the NFL. Stuard, a First Team All-AAC Selection in 202 be looking to add to a recent run of success for Mr. Irrelevants. Seven of the past eight all earned spots on NFL rosters.

Let’s look at the most the successful Mr. Irrelevants of all-time.

Ryan Succop (2009)

When he gets to his first NFL training camp, Stuard won’t need to search far to find out how relevant he can actually become. Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop, Mr. Irrelevant of 2009, is entering his 13th NFL season. Succop went 4-for-4 on extra points and 1-for-1 on field goal attempts in Tampa Bay’s 31–9 Super Bowl victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, in the process becoming the first Mr. Irrelevant to start in a Super Bowl win. 

The Buccaneers signed Succop to a three-year, $12-million contract extension following the season. He was 28 of 31 on field goals attempts and 52 of 57 on extra points attempts during the 2020 season. Succop holds NFL records for highest field goal percentage by a rookie (86.2 percent) and the most consecutive successful field goals from inside 50 yards (56).

Marty Moore (1994)

A backup linebacker for the majority of his eight NFL seasons with the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns, Moore was nonetheless an historic Mr. Irrelevant. 

He suited up for the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI as they lost 35-21 to the Green Bay Packers, becoming the first Mr. Irrelevant to play in the big game.

Jim Finn (1999)

Finn, the final pick in 1999, played seven seasons, including three as a starting fullback for the Giants. He was the blocking back for Tiki Barber as Barber rushed for a Giants franchise-record 1,860 yards in 2005. Finn also caught 60 passes from QB brothers Eli and Peyton Manning in four seasons with the Giants and three with the Indianapolis Colts.

He spent the 2007 season on injured reserve as the Giants won the Super Bowl.

Michael Green (2000)

Selected last overall by the Chicago Bears in 2000, safety Moore played in 104 NFL games, with Chicago (2000-05), the Seattle Seahawks (2006-07) and Washington (2008).

Green twice topped 100 tackles in a season with the Bears. He started 41 games and appeared in four playoff games.

John Tuggle (1983)

A running back who played college ball for the California Bears, Tuggle made the Giants as a special teams player, but was promoted to starting fullback late in the 1983 season following an injury to Rob Carpenter. He gained 49 yards on 17 carries and ran for a touchdown.

In 1984, Tuggle was diagnosed with cancer, bringing an end to his NFL career. He died on August 30, 1986. The Giants played their 1986-87 Super Bowl-winning season with a decal of Tuggle’s No. 38 on their helmets. 

Tuggle was the subject of an ESPN 30-For-30 documentary entitled The Irrelevant Giant.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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