Brock Purdy shows it's time to retire savage Mr. Irrelevant moniker originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
For years, the last pick in the NFL Draft has been not so affectionately known as Mr. Irrelevant. It’s a slight to the last man off the board, who's taken with a pick that’s typically well past the No. 250 overall mark.
Players selected at the end of the draft have a tough time sticking on an NFL roster, let alone making an impact on the field, so for the most part the moniker is truthful in addition to being a little cruel. But San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy may have single-handedly changed the way we talk about the last pick in the draft.
Purdy is technically Mr. Irrelevant from 2022, since the 49ers selected him with the No. 262 and final pick in that year’s draft. If not for some bad injury luck in San Francisco, there’s a good chance we wouldn’t know his name today. But initial starter Trey Lance and primary backup Jimmy Garoppolo each suffered season-ending injuries over the course of the 2022 season, and Purdy was pressed into duty as a rookie.
Of course all Purdy has done since taking over as the 49ers QB is win. He’s got an incredible 17-4 regular record as a starter and has now led San Francisco to a Super Bowl berth. There’s a chance Purdy could’ve done the same last year, too, but he got hurt in the first quarter of the NFC Championship game against the Eagles.
Purdy’s success is part of the reason why some folks believed undrafted free agent quarterback Tyson Bagent deserved a chance to make the Bears roster last summer, and Bagent again showed why unheralded QBs shouldn’t be dismissed. He played well enough for the Bears to go 2-2 while Justin Fields nursed an injury on his throwing hand. Purdy’s success also shows that it’s probably time to retire old Mr. Irrelevant moniker.