Sunday, April 29, 2012

Has Mr. Irrelevant ever stuck around?

Saturday, Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish became the latest recipient of an honor known as Mr. Irrelevant - the last player taken in the NFL draft. Harnish went to the Colts with the 253rd selection this year.

For most, this is their moment in the sun. They get their own schedule of festivities - and it all sounds very nice, by the way - known as Irrelevant Week - details of which can be found here. (Irrelevant Week even has its own Twitter handle - @irrelevantweek)

A few have actually made it to have a productive career and not been cut in training camp, going on, as they say in the NCAA commercials "to be pro in something other than sports".

The first final pick of an NFL draft to really make it was Stu Clarkson, chosen in 1942 out of Texas A&I. He went on to play nine years with the Bears before sadly losing his life in 1957 while coaching high school football.

Jalen Rose's father, Jimmy Walker, who was a two-time NBA all-star, was the 445th and final pick of the Saints in the 1967 draft as a wide receiver out of Providence, but instead elected to pursue basketball as a career and never played a down in the NFL.

Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop was Mr. Irrelevant in 2009 out of South Carolina. He was 24-for-30 on field goals last year.

A couple other quick notes: The deepest Mr. Irrelevant came in the first year the award was presented in 1976, when the Steelers took wide receiver Kelvin Kirk with pick No. 487. He never stepped on the field in Pittsburgh, or anywhere else in the NFL. The Browns had four Mr. Irrelevants in six years in the 1950s, although none had a career of note with the team.

So with all that said, best of luck to Chandler Harnish. Here's to hoping his NFL on-field fortunes are a little better than most of his Mr. Irrelevant counterparts.

- Chris Lillstrung, @CLillstrungNH


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