What is the farthest Mr. Irrelevant has gone in the NFL Playoffs?

To this point in his career, Brock Purdy has been one of the rare successful Mr. Irrelevant stories.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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“Mr. Irrelevant” is a term that was coined to describe the last pick in the NFL Draft. The phrase has been used often for decades, but San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, the Mr. Irrelevant of the 2022 draft class, has made the title more relevant than ever.

Purdy went from being the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft to leading his team to the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture and being named a 2023 MVP finalist in short order.

Now, he is one game away from leading the 49ers on a trip to Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium (home of the Las Vegas Raiders).

The odds being stacked against anyone taken with the last pick in their respective draft make what Purdy is doing even more remarkable than it already was. 

With that in mind, how does his current playoff run with the 49ers stack up to other Mr. Irrelevants? 

Where did the term Mr. Irrelevant come from?

The official inception of the term came in 1976 when Kelvin Kirk was taken with the final pick of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of USC. 

However, only a small portion of players have gone on to carve out NFL careers after being taken with the last pick of their respective draft class.

What is the farthest Mr. Irrelevant has gone in the NFL Playoffs?

Linebacker Marty Moore, who was picked by the New England Patriots in 1994, became the first Mr. Irrelevant to ever play in a Super Bowl in 1996. Alas, Moore didn’t record a tackle during the game and fell short of becoming the first player to win The Big Game.

Moore spent one year with the Cleveland Browns in 2000 before returning to the Pats and being a member of the 2001 Super Bowl-winning roster, but he didn’t log a snap. 

More recently, kicker Ryan Succop made history by becoming the first Mr. Irrelevant to not just play in a Super Bowl but win it and show up in the box score, nailing a 52-yard field goal and successfully converting all four of his extra point attempts when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

Purdy himself has had an ever-lasting impact on the Mr. Irrelevant title.

Last season, he became the first Mr. Irrelevant to throw a touchdown pass in a regular season game after injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo and former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance forced Purdy into the starting quarterback job when the 49ers faced the Miami Dolphins in Week 13.

Later in the season, Purdy became the first rookie to start a playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend.

At this rate, Purdy is putting himself in rarified air as the best Mr. Irrelevant ever.

Next. 30 greatest players to never win a Super Bowl. 30 greatest players to never win a Super Bowl. dark