“Mr. Irrelevant” by Name, #1 in our Hearts

Dec 13, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) gets a pass off against pressure from New York Giants linebacker Tae Crowder (48) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s day three of the NFL Draft. Prospects from around the globe have worked years to get to this point, hoping for a chance to make their dreams of playing in the National Football League a reality. Finally, the last selection is made. Congratulations! You get the title of “Mr. Irreverent”. It’s funny, isn’t it? All of the hard work put in, just to receive a name of irrelevance. Look on the bright side though, the guy taken before you doesn’t get a fancy nickname. 

Don’t be mistaken, there have been some notable players taken with the last selection, and one of them — Ryan Succop last season in Tampa Bay — has won a Super Bowl. But just how irrelevant have the last four players to be given the title of “Mr. Irrelevant” really been? Here is a look into how their NFL careers have played out thus far.

2020 – LB, Tae Crowder (New York Giants)

Tae Crowder played in 11 games for the Giants last season, starting in six. During that time Crowder made 40 solo tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and had 3 quarterback hits. In week 6 of the 2020 season, Crowder recovered a fumble and carried it 43 yards to the house for his first career touchdown, as seen here:

Keeping in mind that 11 games and only 403 offensive snaps is a very small sample size, Crowder made the most of his opportunity presented to him last season. Add in more of a “normal” offseason program, and the continued motivation thanks to the “Mr. Irrelevant” title, Crowder looks to continue to produce for the Giants defense.

2019 – TE, Caleb Wilson (Arizona Cardinals)

The Cardinals drafted the 6-4, 240-pound tight end out of UCLA in the 2019 draft. Wilson was on Arizona’s practice squad but failed to make the team’s week 1 roster. From there, Wilson signed with Washington in December of 2019, however, he did not see any action in his rookie season. 

After being waived by Washington in August of last year, the Philadelphia Eagles claimed the former Bruin, and after bouncing around the roster, Wilson finally got to see game action. In five games last season, Wilson played only 9 offensive snaps, and 48 special teams snaps and is yet to get his first NFL reception.

As for the upcoming 2021 season, Wilson is set to play on the last year of his two-year deal, carrying an $850,000 cap hit.

2018 – WR, Trey Quinn (Washington)

Quinn played in 3 games his rookie season in Washington. During that time the former SMU Mustang had 1 receiving touchdown, 25.0 yards per game, and a catch percentage of 90.0%. Definitely showing some upside. 

In the 2019 season, Quinn saw action in 12 games after spending the beginning of the season on injured reserve. However, the 6 foot, 200-pound receiver saw his catch percentage drop to 55.3%, and his yards per game dip to 16.5. The next offseason, Quinn was put on waivers and was later signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

After a tough 2020 season in which the then 24-year-old, was placed on the COVID-19 list, and later, the injured list, Quinn signed with the Las Vegas Raiders where he looks to compete for a roster spot for the upcoming season.

2017 – QB, Chad Kelly (Denver Broncos)

The Nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly earned the title of “Mr. Irrelevant” in 2017, after playing his college football at Ole Miss. Chad saw no action in his rookie season with a wrist injury, then joined the quarterback room with Case Keenum and Paxton Lynch for the 2018 season. Kelly only saw action in one game in 2018. In fact, he only played a single snap, a running play for a one-yard loss. Then came an arrest. In October of 2018 Kelly was arrested on a charge of criminal trespassing, and in March of 2019, pleaded guilty. 

Nevertheless, the Chad Kelly story doesn’t end there. In May of 2019, Kelly landed a tryout with the Indianapolis Colts and later that month was signed by the team. After showing some upside in preseason action, and serving a two-game suspension to start the regular season, Kelly was all over the place, from a member of the practice squad to being on waivers, and later even being the week 10 backup. Regardless, he didn’t play a single snap in the 2019 season and was later cut by the Colts during the 2020 campaign. 

When looking at the future of the 27-year-old, it appears his time in the NFL has come to a close, leaving behind a long trail of “what if’s”.

Luck of the Draw

It’s a challenge to make a name for yourself in the NFL even without a silly nickname like “Mr. Irrelevant”. For many receiving the title is their only moment of professional football fame. For others, it’s added motivation to prove everyone wrong. As we look ahead to the 2021 Draft, you ask yourself what type of “Mr. Irrelevant” will it be? Will he be a pleasant surprise, and cement himself on a roster? Or will he be just another name added to a list, the fame fading almost as fast as it came?