Path 1: Mildly relevant
Bill Kenney (1978)
He was the third Mr. Irrelevant; and this Northern Colorado QB set the bar high for all who would follow. Not only did Kenney make a Pro Bowl during his nine-year career, but he also spent eight years as a Missouri senator. Apparently a little humiliation builds character.
Marty Moore (1994)
This linebacker was the first Mr. Irrelevant of the seven-round-draft era, and the first to take home a ring as a member of the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI. Presumably, this also means he's the only Mr. Irrelevant who could accurately describe what Bill Belichick's sweatshirt smells like.
Jim Finn (1999)
With a University of Pennsylvania degree to fall back on, this stumpy fullback put together a solid NFL career, playing with Peyton in Indianapolis and Eli in New York. But most importantly, he married hot actress Rosa Blasi. Kinda puts on-field success in perspective, no?
Path 2: Subrelevant
John Tuggle (1983)
Inspiration, thy name is John Tuggle. The late running back from Cal made it through training camp, stuck with the Giants, and became the first Mr. Irrelevant to make the team that drafted him.
Jimmy Walker (1967)
OK, so Walker was drafted before the term "Mr. Irrelevant" was coined in 1976, but how can we ignore a guy who was also the first overall pick in the NBA draft? Fun fact: Walker is the estranged father of NBA vet Jalen Rose. Well, fun for everyone except Jalen Rose anyway.
Jeff Beathard (1988)
What's a foolproof way to get drafted despite a near-total lack of talent? Good old-fashioned nepotism! Beathard's father, Bobby, was GM of the Chargers when the Rams decided to do paps a favor and draft his son out of Southern Oregon. Jeff was promptly cut, but did manage to become a talent scout.
Path 3: Total flameout
Kelvin Kirk (1976)
Each year, Mr. Irrelevant is the guest of honor at a weekend in Newport Beach. This Dayton wide receiver (the first official "winner") missed his plane to the festivities, so a different Kelvin Kirk was found and honored in his place. You could argue that bizarro Kelvin had a more impressive football career, too.
Tim Washington (1982)
After being selected 334th overall, things looked bleak for this Fresno State DB when he was cut by San Francisco. But soon the 49ers changed their minds and re-signed him—only to cut Washington again. Talk about yanking a guy's chain. (Too bad he never got the chance to have a groupie do that.)
Lee Washburn (1978)
When the Cowboys drafted this guard out of Montana State, they probably had pretty low expectations. We certainly hope they did, because Washburn sustained a back injury and didn't even make it to training camp.
Path 1: Mildly relevant