Mr. Irrelevant is a QB, as 49ers take Brock Purdy from Iowa State with final pick

·3 min read

One of the biggest stories from the first two rounds of the NFL draft was the lack of quarterbacks being selected. Only one went in the first two rounds.

It was a bit funny that the 2022 NFL draft ended with a quarterback being picked.

The 49ers owned the final pick, 262nd overall. It was a compensatory pick, one of nine extra picks at the end of the seventh round. They took quarterback Brock Purdy from Iowa State.

Purdy threw for 3,188 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season. He completed 71.7 percent of his passes, an impressive number. Purdy had 12,170 passing yards and 81 passing touchdowns in his career, both school records. Purdy isn't the most impressive physical specimen and that's why he wasn't picked until the end, but he was a good college quarterback. Purdy was first-team all-Big 12 twice, from the coaches in 2020 and then from the Associated Press in 2021.

ESPN's Rece Davis said before the pick that no Mr. Irrelevant has ever thrown an NFL pass. Maybe Purdy can change that.

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy (15) was the final pick of the 2022 NFL draft, known as Mr. Irrelevant. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy (15) was the final pick of the 2022 NFL draft, known as Mr. Irrelevant. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Mr. Irrelevants have had NFL success

Last year's Mr. Irrelevant had a nice rookie season. The final pick of the draft last year was Houston linebacker Grant Stuard, who went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Stuard was a first-team all-conference player his final college season after leading the Cougars with 61 tackles.

Stuard won a roster spot in Tampa Bay. He played in all 17 games, making 15 tackles with a forced fumble. He was a special teams regular, playing 311 special-teams snaps as a rookie. He played both of Tampa Bay's playoff games too, with three special teams tackles. That's a good contribution for the final pick of the draft.

The 2020 Mr. Irrelevant was another good pick. Linebacker Tae Crowder was picked by the New York Giants, and started six games as a rookie. He started all 17 games last season and had 130 tackles and two interceptions. That's fantastic production from a Mr. Irrelevant.

Other final picks have had solid careers. One of the best was kicker Ryan Succop, the 2009 Mr. Irrelevant who is still in the NFL. He has spent the past two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winning a Super Bowl two seasons ago. He became the first Mr. Irrelevant to score points in a Super Bowl. He'll turn 36 years old this season and is still on Tampa Bay's roster.

Just because you had to wait until the final pick of the draft to hear your name called doesn't mean you can't carve out a nice NFL career.

A week of Mr. Irrelevant ceremonies

There's a lot of fun that goes along with being the final pick of the draft. Each year, the final pick of the draft get a week-long celebration in Newport Beach, Calif. In 2020, Mr. Irrelevant ceremonies were called off due to COVID-19. Last year, Stuard was out in California, being part of the "Lowsman Banquet" and getting surfing lessons.

It's an accomplishment to be drafted at all by the NFL, whether it's the first pick of a draft or the last one. Some recent final picks of the draft have done well for themselves in the NFL. Purdy has more obstacles to become a contributor in the NFL than Stuard or Crowder. The 49ers drafted Trey Lance third overall just a year ago.

But Purdy is in the NFL. And he joins a pretty fun list as Mr. Irrelevant.