NFL Draft: Have the Pittsburgh Steelers ever picked Mr. Irrelevant?

Steelers, NFL Draft
Steelers, NFL Draft / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Every year, as the clock ticks down on the NFL Draft, a player from one team is dubbed 'Mr. Irrelevant.' With the final overall pick in the draft, a jersey is displayed with the number in which the player is selected, and that player carries this title with them throughout their career.

Last year's Mr. Irrelevant is already very popular. With the 262nd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected Iowa State quarterback, Brock Purdy. Obviously, not every Mr. Irrelevant is going to have a Cinderella story to share when their career is over, but it's an interesting NFL tradition that dates back to 1951.

It was actually former Steelers draftee, Paul Salata, who came up with the idea as a way to celebrate an underdog player taken at the tail end of every draft. So do the Pittsburgh Steelers have a player who has ever been dubbed Mr. Irrelevant?

Steelers have drafted Mr. Irrelevant just once

After winning the Super Bowl over the Dallas Cowboys following the 1975 season, the Steelers held the final pick in the 1976 NFL Draft, per Back then, there were 17 rounds, and with two expansion teams joining and bringing the total up to 28 teams, this meant that there were a whopping 487 players drafted that year.

With the 487th pick in the 1976 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Dayton wide receiver, Kelvin Kirk. Not only did Kirk make history as the first (and only) Mr. Irrelevant for the Steelers, but he became one of the lowest selections ever to do so. Kirk was also the very first Mr. Irrelevant.

Unfortunately, Kirk wasn't able to stick around and he never appeared in a game for the Steelers. According to Pro Football Archives, Kirk did not crack the roster, and in 1977 he began his career in the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts. His CFL career stretched from 1977 to 1983. Kirk passed away on July 2nd, 2003.

Kirk wasn't alone as far as Mr. Irrelevant goes. Since this honor was awarded in the 1976 NFL Draft, 26 players never appeared in a single NFL game from 1976 to 2019. Only 4 players had a career in which they appeared in at least 40 games.

Next. Steelers mock draft: Early selections reflect pre-draft interests. dark

Today, things look much different. There are only 259 picks in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. The final pick this year is held by the Houston Texans. Everybody hopes to find their version of Brock Purdy as Mr. Irrelevant, but as you can imagine, the success rate is pretty low when you are talking about taking the very last player in the NFL Draft.