Ah, the NFL Draft. The ups and downs, the booms and busts, and even the occasional kicker in the second round. There is nothing more exciting in late April in the sports world than the NFL draft. Some fans have their heart broken at the sound of the commissioner's voice, while other's jump in joy at their team's projected future success. From a player's perspective, it is a lifetime of hard work and dedication that has finally come to the ultimate culmination of accomplishment.
With every dream coming true, there is also a dream shattered. Not every prospect gets selected to the draft. Some of them get their chance as an undrafted free agent, but it's rare to sustain success without being drafted. Then there are the guys that get selected last overall in the draft, dubbed 'Mr. Irrelevant.' Some of them just wither away as just another NFL flop, while others go on to make a career out of it, using the negative title to fuel their fire. Today, we will play GM and analyze the top 15 Mr. Irrelevants, and see where they are at now!
15 Ryan Hoag (2003)
Our first Mr. Irrelevant, Ryan Hoag, was picked last in the 2003 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. He bounced around from practice squad to practice squad, but was never able to make an NFL roster. He eventually moved around to NFL Europe and to the CFL where he could never make a team. Originally, Hoag attended college as a walk-on soccer player, but made the football team at division III, Gustavus Adolphus, in Minnesota.
In 2008, after giving up his NFL career, Hoag was a contestant on the hit show, The Bachelorette. Hoag's faith came to light as he came out as a staunch Christian who was saving himself for marriage. In regards to the actual bachelorette, he said "I don't know how she'll deal with the fact that I hold faith as the number one thing in my life." He was eliminated when he did not receive a rose, and now, he is a tennis coach at his former high school and posts some pretty cool videos.
14 Chandler Harnish (2012)
Harnish never played a single regular-season down in the NFL. After being selected last in the 2012 draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Harnish moved from practice squad to the roster to being released and then back on the practice squad. Besides the Colts, Harnish was signed (and eventually waived) by the Vikings and the Cardinals. Harnish left the league after he was waived by Arizona in 2015.
As for where he is now, well Harnish, the self-proclaimed hillbilly, could still be bouncing around the league, but he gave up his football career, despite an offer from the Seahawks to settle down and start a regular life. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Harnish said:
"I couldn’t have been any further away from home in Seattle, so I just knew deep down in my heart it was going to be unfair to me and the Seahawks. It’s better that I move on. It was one most peaceful decisions I’ve ever made."
13 Norman Jefferson (1987)
Norman Jefferson was a great player at Louisiana State University. During his college career, Jefferson snagged 10 interceptions and was known specifically for his impact in the return game. The Green Bay Packers saw this explosiveness and selected Jefferson with the 335th of the 1987 NFL Draft (back then there were 12 rounds).
Jefferson played two seasons with Green Bay, but only played on special teams. He had a total of 11 punt/kick returns, with a long return of 46 yards. He left the Packers at the end of the 1988 season to finish off his degree at LSU. He ended up in the CFL with the B.C. Lions in the CFL after that. Currently, Jefferson is still involved in LSU athletics, speaking at alumni events, but he likes to keep a low profile.
12 Justice Cunningham (2013)
The 2013 Mr. Irrelevant award goes to - drum roll please - Justice Cunningham. The former tight end out of the University of South Carolina was drafted 254th overall by the Indianapolis Colts, making it their second Mr. Irrelevant selection in a row (see Chandler Harnish). Cunningham, just like many of the other Mr. Irrelevants, was waived halfway through his first year with the Colts, but signed with the Rams in 2013.
The Rams released Cunningham on September 3, 2016, and he has not been signed to a roster since. Maybe he still has hope that a team will take a chance on him, but we doubt that will happen. Officially, Justice Cunningham will finish his NFL career with one reception for four yards, and the infamous title of Mr. Irrelevant!
11 Bill Kenney (1978)
Bill Kenney is our first (but not only) success story as Mr. Irrelevant. The quarterback out of the University of Northern Colorado was selected 333rd by the Miami Dolphins in 1978. He failed to make the active roster, but was eventually signed by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1980, where he worked his way up the roster, until he finally started a game. Now he didn't have a hall of fame career, but was able to be a decent quarterback for the Chiefs in the 1980s. He finished his career with over 100 touchdowns and over 17,000 yards. Not to mention, Kenney made the Pro Bowl in 1983.
After his NFL Career, Kenney got into politics, and just like he worked his way up an NFL roster, he did the same thing in our government. In 2001, Kenney held the title of majority floor leader in the Missouri Senate. Once his two-year term was up, he retired from politics all together.
In 2015, he was arrested on a DUI charge while serving in the Missouri Public Service Commission.
10 Chad Kelly (2017)
The newest Mr. Irrelevant, Chad Kelly, was selected by the Denver Broncos at the end of last year's draft. The former Ole Miss quarterback has seen his fair share of issues off the field, including a nightclub fight in Buffalo, NY in 2014. The NFL actually rescinded Kelly's offer to attend the NFL combine due to his past criminal record. But, John Elway took the advice of his long-time rival, Jim Kelly, Chad's uncle, and took a flyer on Chad.
Currently, Kelly is on the reserve/non-football injury list stemming from offseason wrist surgery. Lucky for Kelly, the Broncos quarterback situation is not good, giving him the chance to make an impact when he becomes healthy. He'll have to beat out Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch to get the job and possibly Brock Osweiler should the Broncos decide to keep him next year.
9 Matt Elliott (1992)
Elliott was overlooked by several NFL teams due to his lack of NFL size. But the previous year's Super Bowl Champions, the Washington Redskins, used the last pick in the draft to pick up the University of Michigan utility man. In his rookie year, Elliott played in all 16 games of the 1992 season, only to be place on injured reserve in 1993, then cut in 1994. He worked as a sideline reporter for the Redskins during his short time off, but his drive to compete was too much to overcome.
In 1995, he was signed by the expansion Carolina Panthers, where he earned the nickname "Lego Man" because he could play at center, guard, and tackle on the offensive line. Elliott retired in 1997 and continued to cover the NFL. Last we know, he was living a quiet life as a former Mr. Irrelevant.
8 Ramzee Robinson (2007)
The career of a player dubbed Mr. Irrelevant is usually a tumultuous one. That's no different for the last pick of the 2007 draft, Ramzee Robinson. The cornerback out of the University of Alabama was taken by the Detroit Lions 255th overall, and jumped from team to team throughout his career. He was part of the infamous defeated Lions team in 2008 and gave himself a bad reputation when he had an unsportmanlike taunting penalty against the Packers. The media ate him up for taunting during a winless season.
Robinson was cut from the Lions in 2009, then bounced from Philadelphia, Cleveland, Washington, Denver, and eventually the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL. He finished his career in the NFL with 29 total tackles, and 0 interceptions. He's now a Player Engagement Coordinator for the NFL.
7 David Vobora (2008)
The linebacker out of the University of Idaho, David Vobora, was selected last overall by the St. Louis Rams in 2008. He went on to have a productive NFL career, recording 98 tackles and 2 sacks through three seasons with the Rams. He signed with the Seahawks in 2011, but didn't play after that season.
What's remarkable is that Vobora has achieved success outside the NFL. He opened a training center in Dallas, title Performance Vault Inc. In 2014, Vobora had a mission to help out injured veterans and disabled individuals, and founded the non-profit, Adaptive Training Foundation, where they provide free personal training to those individuals. He continues to be a powerful public speaker and influences thousands to strive for greatness and breakout of the mediocrity of everyday life. I would say this Mr. Irrelevant turned out to be very relevant.
6 Cheta Ozougwu (2011)
Joining the Mr. Irrelevant clique, Cheta Ozougwu was selected last by the Houston Texans in 2011. The outside linebacker out of Rice University didn't make an impact with the Texans and proceeded to sign with the Chicago Bears. After leading the Bears in sacks in the preseason, Ozougwu made the final 53-man roster. He played in several games for the Bears, but was eventually cut in 2014, where he moved on to New Orleans. The Saints finally let go of Ozougwu after he failed his final physical in 2015, ending his short NFL career.
You may look at it like Ozougwu failed, but he was in the NFL longer than the average player. He finished with 9 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble. Cheta can still be seen at Rice University events, but he will always be known as Mr. Irrelevant. The good news for him is he got married to his wife, Stephanie in the spring of 2016 and they even launched their own website to highlight the event.
5 Marty Moore (1994)
University of Kentucky linebacker, Marty Moore, couldn't believe that he got drafted at the end of the seventh round in 1994 by the New England Patriots. In an interview with NESN, Moore said "The Patriots came back up again and [I hear], 'Marty Moore, linebacker, University of Kentucky,' and my family is jumping up and down, and high-fiving and excited. I'm thinking, 'Holy smokes, I'm the last guy drafted.'"
Moore found his role on special teams, and his teammates even sarcastically named him "Mr. Insignificant." Fortunately for Moore, he got his chance once a fellow linebacker went down. It was history from there! Moore was the first Mr. Irrelevant to start his rookie season, he was the first one to play in a Super Bowl, and was eventually the first one to win a Super Bowl ring in 2001 with the Patriots. Currently, Moore is a sales manager at Stryker Medical in Lexington Kentucky.
4 Andre Sommersell (2004)
Sommersell never achieved NFL success, but his story of Mr. Irrelevant goes beyond America. The Guyanese-born, Colorado State linebacker, was selected last overall in 2004 by the Oakland Raiders. He proceeded to move to NFL Europe with the Berlin Thunder, but resigned from football to follow his business career goals.
But, Mr. Irrelevant didn't get out of football overall, he want on to the Emirates American Footbal League (EAFL) and is coaching the Dubai Stallions. A little bit more on the EAFL, there are four teams total: the Dubai Stallions, the Dubai Barracudas, the Abu Dhabi Wildcats, and the Al Ain Desert Foxes. It was rumored that Sommersell was going to play as well as coach, but we do not have confirmation if he ever actually did.
3 Jim Finn (1999)
Another successful Mr. Irrelevant was Jim Finn out of the University of Pennsylvania. Finn was drafted by the Chicago Bears, but was cut before the season began. He joined the Indianapolis Colts in 2000, where he saw moderate success, but wasn't being utilized fully. The Colts ran more two tight end sets, as opposed to the typical stacked backfield.
Where Finn really saw success was a New York Giant, where he was Tiki Barber's lead blocker. He even propelled Barber to a franchise record rushing season in 2005. After spending a year on IR, the Giants cut the full back in favor of Madison Hedgecock. One quick fact about Finn is he is only one of two players that have caught a pass from both Eli and Peyton Manning. He was also known for some pretty devious acts, just ask his ex-wife, actress Rosa Blasi.
2 Ryan Succop (2009)
Succop is one of the most successful Mr. Irrelevants ever! He was taken last overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009, and played with the team until he was waived in 2014 due to salary-cap issues. Currently, Succop is the kicker for the Tennessee Titans, where he has recently set an NFL record for most field goals made in a row under 50 yards. He's an integral part to the Titans scoring and has already won several games for the Titans this year with his leg.
He has a career long of 54 yards and is slated to be a Pro Bowler if he can beat out fellow AFC kicker, Justin Tucker. The Titans offense has struggled to score touchdowns this season, but thankfully, Succop is so reliable for them when they do get into scoring range.
1 Mike Green (2000)
Mike Green is the last of the Mr. Irrelevant's we will be talking about today. He was drafted last by the Chicago Bears in 2000, and hasn't looked back since. Over the course of his career, the former Northwestern State safety amassed 426 tackles, 6 sacks and 4 interceptions. He was an integral part to the staunch Bears defense in the early 2000s and even had one season where he had over 100 tackles. Some say he was a liability in coverage, but he was able to make up for it with his raw athleticism. After short stints with the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins, Green left the NFL in 2008. Needless to say, along with Ryan Succop, he is one of the top Mr. Irrelevants of all-time! He's been pretty quiet in his retirement, with not much info available on him.
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