Every year, the final player taken in the NFL draft is known as Mr. Irrelevant. The name stems from the basis that while good enough to be drafted, these players rarely make an NFL roster. The first Mr. Irrelevant to make an NFL roster was Fred Dreher, a tight end from Denver University taken by the Bears in 1938. He ended up catching three passes for 69 yards and a touchdown in three games. He was never relevant to Chicago again as the Bears cut him by seasons end.
The most famous Mr. Irrelevant was probably kicker Rolf Benirschke who the Oakland Raiders drafted with the 335th pick out of Cal-Davis in 1977. Benirschke would be cut by the Raiders, but was scooped up by the San Diego Chargers where he set 16 team records over a 10-year career and later was inducted into the Chargers’ Hall of Fame. He is the only Mr. Irrelevant ever to be chosen to a Pro Bowl (1983). Another Mr. Irrelevant who is very relevant these days in New York is Tiki Barber’s escort, fullback Jim Finn. Finn was taken out of the University of Penn by the Bears with the last pick of the 1999 draft. Chicago cut him, but he spent two succesful years with the Indianapolis Colts before joining the Giants in 2003.
This year’s Mr. Irrelevant is Kevin McMahan, a wide receiver from the University of Maine. The Raiders chose him with the 255th pick and can only hope he has the same fate as their 1977 pick, Benirschke. He will be the grand marshall for the Mr. Irrelevant parade in Newport Beach, California where he will be presented with the Lowsman trophy, a takeoff on the Heisman trophy.
The Next Antwaan Randle El?
In 2002 the Pittsburgh Steelers created a new position of sorts when they turned collegiate
quarterback Antwaan Randle El into an offensive hybrid, wide-receiver/quarterback. The effects of Randle El’s rare abilities were never more
apparent than in the 2005 AFC playoffs, where twice the
Steelers used his passing skills to score two trick-touchdowns. One of the defensive recipients of the Steelers chicanery, the Cincinnati Bengals, were so impressed they decided to draft their own potential Randle El. With the 193rd pick (6th rd) the Bengals drafted Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal. McNeal has Michael Vick type speed (4.4 / 40 yard sprint) and a good frame (6’2" 209 lbs.) to play wide receiver.
Another team that wouldn’t mind recreating Antwaan is our own New York Jets. They drafted Missouri quarterback, Brad Smith, with the 103rd pick (4th rd). Smith has a very similar build to McNeal, and while not as fast, is quite the runner. He holds the Division 1-A career rushing record for quarterbacks with 4,289 yards. He is also the only Division 1-A quarterback to ever throw for over 8,000 yards and rush for over 4,000 yards in his collegate career.
Denzel Washington won a best actor Oscar for his performance in the 2001 blockbuster movie, "Training Day". This term will have a new meaning for his son, John David Washington, when he tries to make the Los Angeles Rams this summer during training camp. The Rams signed the younger Washington as an undrafted free-agent running back. And if anyone thinks his opportunity had anything to do with his father’s star influence, think again! Washington is the leading all-time rusher in Morehouse College history with 3,699 yards. Denzel Washington played one year of college football for Fordham University. In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the elder Washington spoke about his son achieving what he could not, "For a kid to have that dream and be this close, and for a dad who had the same dream and didn’t make it, needless to say I’m very proud and happy for him. . . . Nothing would make me happier than to be known as John David Washington’s dad."