Desjuan Johnson Is Mr. Irrelevant For 2023 NFL Draft

It comes with an odd distinction that ultimately doesn’t mean anything, but there is a bit of hoopla that surrounds the player that is selected with the final pick in every NFL Draft. This year, the man that will be labeled Mr. Irrelevant is Toledo defensive end Desjuan Johnson.

NFL Draft: Mr. Irrelevant, A Defensive End From Toledo

Johnson spent five years with the Rockets, and had productive seasons during his junior and senior years. 29.5 tackles and 5 sacks between his final two campaigns, and in 2021 he was named Second-Team All-MAC. The following year, he was preseason First-Team All Mac.

He doesn’t have much more of a shot of making the Rams roster than any of the other 7th round picks do of making it with their respective teams. But if he wants to look for inspiration from players who were the final picks in other drafts, Johnson doesn’t have to look back too far.

Perhaps the most successful Mr. Irrelevant has been last year’s designee Brock Purdy. The 49ers selected the quarterback with the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, and he started his rookie season in third place on the depth chart. But due to unfortunate injuries throughout the unit, Purdy was sprung into action late in the 2022 season, and didn’t lose a game until the NFC Championship.

Brock Purdy’s Success Should Be Motivation For Johnson

From the looks of it, the 49ers are favoring Purdy to be their starter for the upcoming season over former 3rd overall pick Trey Lance.

He isn’t the only last pick to have a successful career in the NFL. Kicker Ryan Succop was Mr. Irrelevant in 2009, and he has been kicking field goals in the league ever since. Mike Green (2000) started for three seasons in the Bears secondary, and had a 100+ tackle season in 2002.

Chad Kelly, the nephew of former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, was Mr. Irrelevant in 2017. He climbed to the second spot on the Broncos depth chart, but was later released. He was the winning quarterback in the Grey Cup of the Canadian Football League in 2022.

The Texans originally held the final pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, but dealt it to the Rams in a trade package earlier in the day.


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