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Former Idaho linebacker David Vobora among NFL drafts most relevant Mr. Irrelevants

UPDATED: Tue., April 28, 2020

St. Louis Rams linebacker David Vobora leaves the field after a game against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 27, 2009, in St. Louis. (Tom Gannam / AP)
St. Louis Rams linebacker David Vobora leaves the field after a game against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 27, 2009, in St. Louis. (Tom Gannam / AP)
By Neil Greenberg Washington Post

There is always intrigue about who will be selected No. 1 overall in the NFL draft, but let’s not forget the last player picked, also known as Mr. Irrelevant.

The celebration around the final player selected in the draft started in 1976 when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected wideout Kelvin Kirk with the 487th pick of the 17-round draft. That year Paul Salata, a former member of the Baltimore Colts and San Francisco 49ers, created an extravaganza in Newport Beach, California, known as “Irrelevant Week” to honor the final pick.

This year’s Mr. Irrelevant is linebacker Tae Crowder, selected by the New York Giants as the 255th and final selection in the 2020 NFL draft. Recruited as a running back, Crowder was forced to make a position change to linebacker at Georgia during his redshirt sophomore season. Crowder was credited with 122 tackles (10 for a loss), five passes defensed, two interceptions and during one sack his four years with the Bulldogs.

Crowder will try to become one of the few Mr. Irrelevants to make an impact in the NFL. Since 1994, the first year the draft contracted to the seven-round format that’s used today, most Mr. Irrelevants are just that, irrelevant, although some do crack NFL rosters. One even played for a Super Bowl champion.

By using approximate value, an all-in-one metric created by Doug Drinen that values a player at any position from any year, we can determine which Mr. Irrelevant has been the most relevant. The higher the approximate value, the better that player was for his career.

1. Ryan Succop, 256th pick in 2009

25 approximate value over 166 games played

After incumbent kicker Connor Barth was released by the Kansas City Chiefs in the summer of 2009, Succop got the chance at the role starting in Week 1. He made 25 of 29 field goals (86%) and all 29 of his extra-point attempts, giving him one of the highest field-goal rates for a rookie by season’s end. His 104 points were also the most by a rookie during the regular season.

He also earned special teams player of the week honors five times and special teams player of the month honors once over an 11-year career.

2. Michael Green, 254th pick in 2000

22 AV over 104 games played

Drafted by the Chicago Bears, Green spent six years with the team and had a one-year stint with the Seattle Seahawks in 2007 and Washington Redskins in 2008, his last year in the league. He ended his career with six sacks, four interceptions, seven forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and 434 tackles (350 solo, 19 for a loss).

3. Marty Moore, 222nd pick in 1994

14 AV over 112 games played

Moore was a member of the New England Patriots’ championship squad in 2001 although he isn’t listed as playing a single snap in Super Bowl XXXVI. Still, he played eight seasons as a linebacker in the NFL (seven with the Patriots and one with the Cleveland Browns), finishing his career with 173 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles, plus a fumble recovery.

4. David Vobora, 252nd pick in 2008

8 AV over 40 games played

Vobora, from the University of Idaho, spent four years in the NFL with his best performance in 2009 with the St. Louis Rams. He played 12 games (10 as a starting linebacker) that year and produced 46 tackles (two for a loss) with two passes defensed and a forced fumble, earning him the 16th-highest grade among linebackers from the game charters at Pro Football Focus.

5. Jim Finn, 253rd pick in 1999

4 AV over 106 games played

Drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1999, Finn wouldn’t suit up for his first NFL game until the 2000 campaign as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, where he spent the first three years of his pro career. He spent the next four years in the NFL as a member of the New York Giants.

Fullbacks like Finn don’t get much credit in the modern NFL, but he did catch 60 of 91 targets for 423 yards, one touchdown and 21 first downs. He’s also the only player from 2000 to 2006 to catch passes from both Peyton and Eli Manning.

The best of the rest

6. Trey Quinn, 256th pick in 2018 (AV over 15 games played)

7. Ramzee Robinson, 255th pick in 2007 (1 AV over 26 games played)

8. Cheta Ozougwu, 254th pick in 2011 (1 AV over 9 games played)

9. Kalan Reed, 253rd pick in 2016 (0 AV over 7 games played)

10. Justice Cunningham, 254th pick in 2013 (0 AV over 4 games played)

11. Lonnie Ballentine, 256th pick in 2014 (0 AV over 4 games played)

12. Michael Reed, 249th pick in 1995 (0 AV over 3 games played)

13. Gerald Christian, 256th pick in 2015 (0 AV over 3 games played)

14. Chad Kelly, 253rd pick in 2017 (0 AV over 1 game played)

Never played in the NFL

Sam Manuel, 254th pick in 1996

Ronnie McAda, 240th pick in 1997

Cam Quayle, 241st pick in 1998

Tevita Ofahengaue, 246th pick in 2001

Ahmad Miller, 261st pick in 2002

Ryan Hoag, 262nd pick in 2003

Andre Sommersell, 255th pick in 2004

Andy Stokes, 255th pick in 2005

Kevin McMahan, 255th pick in 2006

Tim Toone, 255th pick in 2010

Chandler Harnish, 253rd pick in 2012

Caleb Wilson, 254th pick in 2019

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