‘Mr. Irrelevant’ and other NFL draft fast facts

Former USC and Baltimore Colts receiver Paul Salata takes to the podium to announce "Mr. Irrelevant," the 254th and final pick of the 2013 NFL draft on Saturday in New York.
(Craig Ruttle / Associated Press)

“Mr. Irrelevant,” the nickname given to the final pick in the NFL draft, is Justice Cunningham, a tight end from South Carolina who was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 254th choice on Saturday.

The 6-foot-4, 264-pounder was actually called Justice Hamilton by Paul Salata, the man who announced the final pick. It was Salata, a former USC and NFL receiver, who coined the term Mr. Irrelevant in 1976 and it’s become a tradition to bestow upon the player a jersey with the final draft number.

Cunningham, who was primarily a blocking tight end for the Gamecocks, will visit Salata’s hometown of Newport Beach to take part in the Irrelevant Week Parade as well as make a trip to Disneyland. Cunningham, who receives the Lowsman Trophy (a reverse of the Heisman honor) had 49 receptions for 544 yards and one touchdown in his career at South Carolina. Twenty-two of those catches came last season.


“They called at the last minute,” Cunningham said of the Colts, which seems appropriate for the final pick of the draft. “My dream came true and I got drafted. It doesn’t matter where you start, it’s where you finish.”

FYI: Cunningham has a brother named Powers and sisters named Promise and Sincere. Honest.

Here are more facts and figures from the 2013 NFL draft:

— Cunningham was one of 63 players from SEC schools selected, eight more than any other conference and nearly 25% of the picks.

— The Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks each made 11 choices, tied for the most in a single draft.

— A record eight players were chosen from Louisiana State, all defenders (four defensive linemen, two cornerbacks, a safety and a linebacker).

— There were 26 trades made during the draft, one short of the record set in 2008.

— It was the first time since 1963 that a running back was not selected in the first round.



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