All The Mr. Irrelevants Everybody Missed

Taking a look at every last NFL draft pick before Mr. Irrelevant came to be
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The end of April is closing in and that means it's almost time for the NFL Draft

The NFL draft is a phenomenon. Fans and experts everywhere obsess over the potential results. Draft prospect combine states and pro days are dissected from every corner of the internet and mock drafts saturate every fan's profile page.

Some may say, the NFL Draft is more popular than watching football itself.

Why is the NFL Draft so popular?

The NFL draft is a chance for each team, and their fans, to potentially mold their future. 

High-round draft picks can land you a potential superstar that will lead you to the promised land.

Mid to Lower round picks add roster depth and possess the potential to be groomed into future starters.

Better yet, the next superstar can be hidden anywhere in the draft.

Beyond the ceremonies and speculation, there is one pick that seems to get plenty of publicity these days: "Mr. Irrelevant."

What is Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL draft?

Mr. Irrelevant is given to the very last pick in the NFL draft. Started during the 1976 NFL draft, the last played pick is dubbed "Mr. Irrelevant." This pick is a not-so-honorary symbol of the end of the draft.

Each Mr. Irrelevant receives a Draft Day jersey with their pick number, these days being 256.

The 1976 NFL draft is the first draft to officially feature Mr. Irrelevant.

But, we're going to go beyond that.

Note: The NFL didn't keep as great of records as it does today, so the first few decades will provide little extra information on the player passed their position and longevity in the league.

Let's take a look at all the Mr. Irrelevant picks since the very first NFL Draft in 1936. 

1936 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Phil Flanagan 

Position: Guard

Pick: Round 9, pick 81

College: Holy Cross

Team: New York Giants

There isn't much data on the first last pick in history. He only played 2 games before leaving the league. Although, he was inducted into the Holy Cross Hall of Fame in 1965.

1937 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Solon Holt

Position: Guard

Pick: Round 10, pick 100

College: Texas Christian

Team: Cleveland Rams

It seems that Solon Holt had a quiet NFL career. 

However, he went on to have a successful coaching career being inducted into the Kilgore College Hall of Fame for his efforts in 1954.

1938 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Fred Dreher

Position: End

Pick: Round 12, pick 110

College: Denver

Team: Chicago Bears

Fred Dreher only played in 3 games for the Bears before exiting the league. He managed to snag 3 receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown.

1939 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Jack Rhodes

Position: Guard

Pick: Round 22, pick 200

College: Texas

Team: New York Giants

According to a Statesmen Article in 2016, the Longhorn alum never got a chance to play in the NFL despite being selected in the draft.

1940 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Myron Claxton

Position: Tackle

Pick: Round 22, pick 200

College: Whittier 

Team: New York Giants

Myron didn't see an NFL field. However, he went on to teach chemistry at Santa Ana College before serving in World War 2 as an Officer in the Medical Administrative Core.

He went on the have a decorated career as a teacher and public servant even becoming the mayor of Whittier from 1984-1986.

1941 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Mort Landsberg

Position: Running back

Pick: Round 22, Pick 204

College: Cornell

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Mort only carried the ball 23 times for 69 yards before sputtering out of the league. He tried to make comeback in 1947 with the Los Angeles Dons but never played a game with them.

1942 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Stu Clarkson

Position: Center

Pick: Round 22, pick 200

College: Texas A&I

Team: Chicago Bears

Stu Clarkson is a rarity on this list. He played for the Chicago Bears for 10 years, even winning a championship with them in 1946. He did not play from 1943-1945 as he joined the war efforts, even storming Normandy on D-Day.

1943 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Bo Bogovich

Position: Guard

Pick: Round 32, pick 300

College: Delaware

Team: Washington Redskins

This Draft Class, unfortunately, did not produce a Hall of Famer. It didn't give Bo Bogovich much of a career either as his playing days are not documented.

1944 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Walton Roberts

Position: Running Back

Pick: Round 32, pick 330

College: Texas

Team: Boston Yanks

Both Walton and the Boston Yanks didn't last too long as they were both out of the league by 1948.

1945 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Billy Joe Aldridge

Position: Running Back

Pick: Round 32, pick 330

College: Oklahoma State

Team: Green Bay Packers

Billy's Football career was truncated by World War 2 as he didn't see any playing time in the NFL. However, Billy went on to be a successful high school golf coach until he died in 1976.

1946 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: John West

Position: Running Back

Pick: Round 32, pick 300

College: Oklahoma

Team: Los Angeles Rams

Another product of the War, John West didn't see the field after he was drafted.

1947 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Don Clayton

Position: Running Back

Pick: Round 32, Pick 300

College: North Carolina 

Team: New York Giants

Not much can be said for Don's career as well. It's difficult for late-round draft picks to make it in the league let alone see the field.

1948 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Bill Fischer 

Position: Guard

Pick: Round 32, pick 300 (and round 1, pick 10 in 1949)

College: Norte Dame

Team: Chicago Cardinals

Billy "Moose" Fischer had an interesting NFL career being the last pick in the 1948 NFL Draft and the 10th pick in the 1949 NFL Draft, both by the Chicago Cardinals. 

While only playing 5 years, he managed to make it to 3 Pro Bowls. He has considered one of Norte Dame's biggest draft steals of all time. 

1949 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: John Schweder

Position: Guard

Pick: Round 25, Pick 251

College: Pennsylvania

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Despite being drafted by the Eagles, "The Bull" never played a down with them. Instead, he played a year with the Colts in 1950 and an additional 5 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

1950 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Dud Parker

Position: Running Back

Pick: Round 30, 391

College: Baylor

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Dud Parker's first name is fitting for his NFL career as he failed to make it to the field.

1951 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Sisto Averno

Position: Guard

Pick: Round 30, pick 362

College: Muhlenberg

Team: Baltimore Colts

Sisto was drafted in 1950, but the Baltimore Colts folded that year. Their players were thrown into the 1951 NFL Draft.

Sisto Played for The Colts, Giants, and Texans. Sisto played hard during his career, even playing injured multiple times. His tough-as-nails play style cost him later in life as it caused a myriad of health problems.

Sisto was an advocate for player health and pushed the league to improve the benefits for NFL Retirees.

1952 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: John Saban

Position: Running Back 

Pick: Round 30, pick 360

College: Xavier

Team: Cleveland Browns

John Saban made the team the year he was drafted, but didn't achieve much more than that in his career.

1953 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Hal Maus

Position: End

Pick: Round 30, pick 360

College: Montana

Team: Detroit Lions

One of two Montana Grizzlies selected in the 1953 Draft, Hal didn't see the field in his NFL career.

1954 Irrelevant

Name: Ellis Horton

Position: Running Back

Pick: Round 30, pick 360

College: Eureka, (IL)

Team: Detroit Lions

Ellis was a three-sport athlete in college. He set the record for the longest touchdown in NCAA history in 1952, ripping off a 99-yard touchdown run.

Injuries plagued his NFL career, though, and he was out of the league soon enough. 

1955 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Lamar Leachman

Position: Center

Pick: Round 30, pick 360

College: Tennessee

Team: Cleveland Browns

Lamar never played for the Browns. He went to the CFL and played for the Calgary Stampeders in 1956. He hung up his cleats the following year.

He had quite a successful coaching career, however, tallying a total of 20 years in both the CFL and NFL. 

A Youtuber by name of Jim made a tribute to the late coach: 

1956 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Bob Bartholomew

Position: Tackle

Pick: Round 30, pick 360

College: Wake Forest

Team: Cleveland Browns

Bob was drafted by the Cleveland Browns but didn't manage to make it onto the field. He managed to play 2 games with the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL.

He was inducted into the Wake Forest Hall of Fame in 1984, the same year of his death.

1957 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Don Gest

Position: End

Pick: Round 30, pick 360

College: Washington State

Team: New York Giants

There were 2 Dons on the 1957 New York Giants roster, and none of them was our 1957 Mr. Irrelevent.

1958 Mr. Irrelevant 

Name: Tommy Bronson

Position: Running Back

Pick: Round 30, pick 360

College: Tennessee

Team: Detroit Lions

Tommy never saw playing time in the NFL. However, he became a successful businessman, becoming CEO of his father's company Brooksfield Rock.

1959 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Blair Weese

Position: Running Back

Pick: Round 30, pick 360

College: West Virginia Tech

Team: Baltimore Colts

Blair's career is overshadowed by legend Johnny Unitas. 

1960 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Bill Gorman

Position: Tackle

Pick: Round 20, pick 240

College: McMurray

Team: New York Giants

Bill Gorman chose to forgo his NFL career. He instead moved back to his hometown of Baird, Texas, and ran the local feed store.

1961 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Jacque MacKinnon

Position: Running Back

Pick: Round 20, pick 280

College: Colgate

Team: Philadelphia Eagles 

Chosen with the last pick by the Eagles in the 1961 NFL draft, Jacque went on to become a pick for the Chargers in the 1962 NFL Draft. He played for the Chargers for 8 years and one with the Oakland Raiders in 1970. 

He was a 2-time AFL All-Star and won a Championship with the Chargers in 1963.

He is considered the 63rd best Charger player of all time.

1962 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Mike Snodgrass

Position: Center

Pick: Round 20, pick 280

College: Western Michigan 

Team: Green Bay Packers

Mike never played for the Packers but went on to play both offense and defense for the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1962 before hanging up his cleats.

1963 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Bobby Brezina 

Position: Running Back

Pick: Round 20, pick 280

College: Houston

Team: Green Bay Packers

Bobby was drafted by the Packers but never played with the team. He did manage to play for the Houston Oilers, but for only 1 game in 1963.

1964 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Richard Niglio

Position: Running Back

Pick: Round 20, pick 280

College: Yale

Team: Chicago Bears

Richard never played for the Bears but went on to become the Vice President of International Multifoods Corporation in 1971.

1965 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: George Haffner

Position: Quarterback 

Pick: Round 20, pick 280

College: McNeese State

Team: Baltimore Colts

George didn't have a long NFL career but went on to become a long-time college coach spanning 35 years for 9 different schools.

1966 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Tom Carr

Position: Tackle

Pick: Round 20, pick 305

College: Morgan State

Team: Baltimore Colts

Tom played for the Saints despite being draft by the Colts. He only played in 4 games, though, before leaving the NFL.

1967 "Mr. Irrelevant"

Name: Jimmy Walker

Position: Wide Receiver 

Pick: Round 17, pick 445

College: Providence

Team: New Orleans Saints

Jimmy Walker was drafted by the Saints without ever playing college football. 

He was, in fact, a star basketball player ironically getting drafted #1 overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 1967 NBA Draft.

This may be the most contradicting Mr. Irrelevant pick in history.

1968 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Jimmy Smith

Position: End

Pick: Round 17, 462

College: Jackson State

Team: Cincinnati Bengals

There were many Jimmy Smiths in professional football and, needless to say, this Jimmy Smith was the least popular.

1969 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Fred Zirkie

Position: Defensive Tackle

Pick: Round 17, pick 442

College: Duke

Team: New York Jets

Fred decided to forgo the NFL in favor of a successful career as an investment banker and entrepreneur.

1970 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Rayford Jenkins

Position: Defensive Back

Pick: Round 17, pick 442

College: Alcorn A&M

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

While not amounting to much in his NFL career, Raymond is #33 on the Top 50 Best Football Players ever to play at Alcorn State.

1971 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Charles Hill

Position: Wide Reciever

Pick: Round 17, pick 442

College: Sam Houston State

Team: Oakland Raiders

Charles Hill never amounted to much with his time in the NFL as no statistics are existing of his professional stint.

1972 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Alphonso Cain

Position: Defensive Tackle

Pick: Round 17, pick 442

College: Bethune-Cookman

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Not much can be said of Alphonso's career as he was overshadowed by legends such as Mike Ditka, Roger Staubach, and Bob Lily.

1973 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Charles Wade

Position: Wide Reciever

Pick: Round 17, pick 442

College: Tennessee State

Team: Miami Dolphins

Charlie managed to survive 4 seasons in the NFL playing for a different team every year including the Bears, the Green Bay Packers, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

1974 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Ken Dickerson

Position: Defensive Back

Pick: Round 17, pick 442

College: Tuskegee

Team: Miami Dolphins

Ken never played a snap for the Dolphins.

1975 Mr. Irrelevant

Name: Stan Hegener

Position: Guard

Pick: Round 17, pick 442

College: Nebraska 

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers 

Stan is the last Mr. Irrelevant before the first official one was named in the 1976 draft.

Stan was considered a "sleeper" in this draft.

What Position was most chosen as Mr. Irrelevant?

From 1936 to the beginning of the Mr. Irrelevant era in 1976, running back was chosen the most times with 12 picks.

The quarterback position was chosen the least, only being picked once as Mr. Irrelevant.

What team picked the most Mr. Irrelevants?

The last pick of each round usually coincides with the league's champion the previous season.

In the pre-Mr. Irrelevant era, the New York Giants selected the most final picks at 5 total.

Diamonds in the rough

There has been a correlation in this list between each Mr. Irrelevant pick and their success. 

That being not much success at all.

However, there were a few picks that exceeded expectations on the field. Despite the title "Mr. Irrelevant," some of these men went on to have successful and interesting careers outside of football.

So if you always get picked last in sports, do not worry.

There's still a chance for you!

Paul is passionate about mastering the craft of writing. Adaptive and charismatic over pen and paper, no subject is out of the question.

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