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Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy selected by 49ers, becomes 47th Mr. Irrelevant

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy was selected with the 262nd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy was selected with the 262nd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He is the 47th player to receive the title of Mr. Irrelevant.
(Courtesy of Iowa State Athletics)

No funny business happened with the final pick of the NFL draft, and perhaps poetically so, as the first Mr. Irrelevant picked after the passing of Irrelevant Week founder Paul Salata was chosen by one of his former teams.

The San Francisco 49ers kept the last pick, selecting Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy in the seventh round, 262nd overall on Saturday to close the NFL draft in Las Vegas.

Melanie Salata-Fitch, a Newport Beach resident and the CEO of Irrelevant Week, took the stage to make the announcement, accompanied by her daughter Alix, who held the red Mr. Irrelevant jersey with the No. 262.

“We’re going to put it all on red, 49er red,” Salata-Fitch said, making a more than relevant comment, given the setting. “That’s who my dad played for.”

Purdy became the 47th member of the Mr. Irrelevant fraternity, and no one in that exclusive group has ever thrown a pass in the NFL. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound quarterback will look to change that.

When he received the call from the 49ers that he was going to be drafted, Purdy took the call in a room separate from those watching the draft in the living room. Then in the Las Vegas spirit, he put on his best poker face and did not show his hand.

“I walked back out into the living room, and I just kept an even-keeled face,” Purdy said. “I didn’t show any emotion or anything, and my family was like, ‘Who was it?’

“I was like, ‘Just another free agency call,’ because before that, I was taking some calls, lining up some talks for free agency, just in case I didn’t get drafted. Some believed me, some didn’t, so everyone still had their phones out for the last pick. Once my name got called on TV, everyone screamed and went crazy.”

He started the final 46 games of his collegiate career with the Cyclones, putting his name in the Iowa State record books for a career with 12,170 passing yards and 81 touchdown passes.

During his junior season, Purdy helped lead Iowa State to a 34-17 win over Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl, throwing for 156 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 43 yards and another score.

The Queen Creek (Ariz.) native said it was “special” to come back to Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl and win a New Year’s Six bowl game for the first time in school history.

“To go home and play in that game and beat a powerhouse like Oregon, for us at Iowa State, was remarkable and memorable forever,” Purdy said. “I’m thankful to be a part of that and that team.”

In going to college out of state, Purdy experienced living in a place that experiences all four seasons for the first time. When he gets to Newport Beach for Irrelevant Week, Purdy said he is looking forward to another first: learning to surf.

Purdy is the first Iowa State quarterback to be selected in the draft since Seneca Wallace in 2003.

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