2011 NFL Draft: On the Lookout for Mr. Irrelevant

Andrew NortonCorrespondent IIIApril 16, 2011

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 06: Tori Gurley #81 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Anyone can guess the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but to predict Mr. Irrelevant takes something a little special. Mr. Irrelevant, the very last player chosen in the draft, has been a spectacle for years, earning respect as the worst of the best and receiving the aptly-named Lowsman Trophy and other prizes. So, let's take a look at some of the best of the worst from the past, and, of course, name the 2011 NFL Draft's Mr. Irrelevant.

Every year, thousands gather around their televisions to watch the first round of the NFL Draft. Every expert has made their draft board, all eerily similar, and fans across the country tune in to find out which NCAA standout will make a mark on their team in 2011.

Then the dust settles and people go back to their business as round two through seven play out.

But then something odd happens.

The 254th pick is announced, and there is a media frenzy over Mr. Irrelevant, the final pick in the NFL Draft.


Some notable Lowsman Trophy recipients

Kelvin Kirk, Round 17, Pick 487 in 1976 by the Pittsburgh Steelers—Kirk was the very first Mr. Irrelevant, but was cut during his first week in the NFL. He went on to play seven seasons in the CFL.

Marty Moore, Round 7, Pick 222 in 1994 by the New England Patriots—Moore, a linebacker out of Kentucky, went on to have a mildly successful career, playing seven seasons in the league and becoming the first Mr. Irrelevant to play in the Super Bowl.

Jim Finn, Round 7, Pick 253 in 1999 by the Chicago Bears—Finn served as Tiki Barber's battering ram, playing fullback for the Giants from 2003-2007. His lead blocking allowed Barber to run for a Giants-record three 200-yard games in a single season. He also had the honor of being a starter in the Super Bowl.

Ryan Hoag, Round 7, Pick 262 in 2003 by the Oakland Raiders—Hoag spent time on eight NFL, CFL and UFL teams and practice squads, but is most notable for his appearance on ABC's The Bachelorette. He was booted in the second episode.

Ryan Succop, Round 7, Pick 256 in 2009 by the Kansas City Chiefs, 2009—Succop is likely the most relevant of the Mr. Irrelevants. He finished his rookie season tying the NFL rookie record for field goal percentage. He also set a Chief rookie record of most field goals made, scoring more points than anyone else from the 2009 NFL Draft.

And now... the moment we have all been waiting for: the naming of Mr. Irrelevant for the 2011 NFL Draft.

With Houston's 7th-round pick, No. 254 overall, the Texans will select Tori Gurley.

Gurley, out of South Carolina, is a wide receiver that could easily make the shift to tight end. The Texans should be on the lookout for a strong receiver opposite Andre Johnson, or a potential tight end fill-in should Owen Daniels' injuries persist.

What Gurley lacks in speed, he makes up for with the ability to stretch the field down the middle. His 6'4" 215 pound frame, and 4.56 40-yard-dash time will make him a terror for linebackers and safeties down the center of the field.

He should fall to the 7th round due to his lack of fluidity and speed as a wideout, but should be a nice project for the Texans, at wide receiver or tight end.