Have the KC Chiefs ever picked Mr. Irrelevant?
By Matt Conner
The Kansas City Chiefs have had the honor of taking Mr. Irrelevant twice in the team’s long draft history.
In what has become a longstanding tradition in the NFL, going back to the mid-to-late 1970s, the final selection in every NFL Draft is given the name “Mr. Irrelevant.” The pick then typically comes with some level of celebration or festivities around the pick for being the last college prospect taken that spring.
It’s an interesting tradition that goes back to the selection of Dayton wide receiver Kelvin Kirk back in the ’76 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was the first player to earn the moniker “Mr. Irrelevant”, and it’s fitting that he spent the majority of his professional career in the Canadian Football League—a reminder of just how tough it is for most players taken so late to make the actual active roster of the teams that draft them.
While there have been dozens of “Mr. Irrelevant” title holders over the years, it’s hard to find even a handful with any real success. Brock Purdy made plenty of waves last year as a surprising substitute at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and he was the final pick a year ago. Before that, safety Mike Green had a nice career with the Chicago Bears. There are also some solid special teams standouts who have been taken with that ultimate pick in their respective drafts, but it’s not as if there are Hall of Famers or even really Pro Bowlers out there showing what can happen from that draft slot.
So what about the Kansas City Chiefs’ own draft history? The Chiefs have taken two players with that last pick in the draft; one of them is even among the most successful picks ever.
Back in 2009, Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli made a nice pick in his first draft with the team with the selection of kicker Ryan Succop at No. 256 overall. Succop would go on to become one of the most accurate kickers in team history and he played five seasons in Kansas City before signing a big-money deal in free agency to leave for the Tennessee Titans. So far, Succop has kicked for three teams over 14 NFL seasons and he’s still available in free agency for a team who needs help in ’23.
As for the Chiefs’ other selection of Mr. Irrelevant, Rayford Jenkins was an incredible coverage linebacker for Alcorn State who helped the team to SWAC titles with 5 interceptions in both his junior and senior seasons at the smaller school. What’s crazy is that, in 1970, Jenkins was chosen in the 17th round—yes, the 17th round. It’s not all that surprising, then, that he failed to make the team or play in a single NFL game after being drafted.