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The 49ers began their journey in the 2023 NFL playoffs on Sunday, rematching the rival Seahawks, and they did so with rookie quarterback Brock Purdy under center. But Purdy, as has been well documented, isn't any old rookie. Unlike San Francisco's Opening Day starter, Trey Lance, he didn't enter as the handpicked face of the franchise. Instead, he literally entered as the last man standing, joining the 49ers as the 262nd and final selection of the 2022 NFL Draft -- Mr. Irrelevant himself.

First coined in 1976 but technically documented since the draft's inception in 1936, the Mr. Irrelevant nickname has followed dozens of NFL hopefuls over the decades. Purdy, 22, is just the latest to bear the title, stepping in as a seamless emergency replacement for Jimmy Garoppolo, who in turn replaced an injured Lance early this season.

With a strong playoff run, Purdy has a chance to quickly become one of the greatest Mr. Irrelevants to ever take the field. With that in mind, here's a look at five of the most relevant Mr. Irrelevants in NFL history:

5. Marty Moore (1994)

Drafted: No. 222 overall | Team: Patriots | College: Kentucky

The first Mr. Irrelevant to win a Super Bowl, Moore spent eight seasons as a linebacker -- seven with the Patriots, and one with the Browns. Though he only made 19 career starts, posting his best numbers (90 tackles, four pass deflections, one INT) in Cleveland, he carved out a role on special teams with the Pats, earning jobs under Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick. Logging two picks in limited snaps during Carroll's first year as head coach, he got a ring for the club's 2001 championship upset of the "Greatest Show on Turf" Rams.

4. Jim Finn (1999)

Drafted: No. 253 overall | Team: Bears | College: Pennsylvania

Finn didn't take a snap as a rookie, spending part of his first year on the Bears' practice squad. After that, however, he clawed his way onto the Colts, who were fresh off a 13-3 breakout, and managed eight straight years as an active fullback. A dump-off option for Peyton Manning, sharing a backfield with Edgerrin James, he saw his best production alongside Peyton's brother, Eli, with the Giants (2003-2007). In New York, Finn topped 100 receiving yards twice, helped block for All-Pro Tiki Barber, and got a ring when the G-Men upset the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

3. Bill Fischer (1948)

Drafted: No. 300 overall | Team: Cardinals | College: Notre Dame

An esteemed guard for College Football Hall of Fame coach Frank Leahy at Notre Dame, Fischer returned to school after the Cardinals drafted him following his junior year, then officially kicked off his NFL career a year later, when the Cardinals drafted him again -- this time 10th overall. The big man started 48 games over five seasons, primarily at left tackle, becoming the first Mr. Irrelevant to earn a Pro Bowl nod (he finished with three). While also logging an occasional snap on defense, Fischer finished his brief but sterling career with an interception and a whopping 10 fumble recoveries.

2. Jacque MacKinnon (1961)

Drafted: No. 280 overall | Team: Eagles | College: Colgate

Like Fischer, he had an unusual way of finding Mr. Irrelevant stardom. Despite the Eagles taking him at the end of the 1961 draft, the fullback/tight end instead fled for the West Coast, signing with the AFL's San Diego Chargers. He spent the next nine years starring under Hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman, deployed as both a runner and receiver in two-tight end sets. An athletic threat ahead of his time, MacKinnon totaled almost 2,500 yards from scrimmage for his career, notably logging 33 catches for 646 yards and six touchdowns at age 30, in 1968. The bruiser also spent a single season with the Raiders (1970), just as the AFL merged with the NFL, leaving the game having appeared in four different AFL championships, and winning one.

1. Ryan Succop (2009)

Drafted: No. 256 overall | Team: Chiefs | College: South Carolina

Of all the Mr. Irrelevants, none have made such a consistent impact over such a long period of time. One of only two kickers selected in 2009, Succop showed off his leg early, setting the Chiefs' rookie record for field goals (25) and tying an NFL record for rookie field-goal percentage (86.2). After five years in Kansas City, he spent six with the Titans, three times eclipsing 100 points on the year. With the Buccaneers since 2020, he broke a franchise record for single-season points (136) as part of the club's Super Bowl championship team. And at 36, he's still got it, entering Week 14 currently 24 of 27 on field goals for Tampa Bay. In his 14th season, he ranks in the top 35 among all-time kickers in both points (1,400+) and field-goal percentage (83.5%), ahead of big-name Pro Bowlers like Mark Moseley, Neil Rackers and Billy Cundiff.

A look at every Mr. Irrelevant

Now that we've ranked the top five, here's a look at the history of Mr. Irrelevants since the term was first coined in 1976. Purdy, out of Iowa State, was taken in 2022 with 262nd pick by the 49ers.

YearPickPlayerTeamPositionSchool
2021259Grant StuardBuccaneersLBHouston
2020255Tae CrowderGiantsLBGeorgia
2019254Caleb WilsonCardinalsTEUCLA
2018256Trey QuinnCommandersWRSMU
2017253Chad KellyBroncosQBOle Miss
2016253Kalan ReedTitansCBSouthern Miss
2015256Gerald ChristianCardinalsTELouisville
2014256Lonnie BallentineTexansSMemphis
2013254Justice CunninghamColtsTESouth Carolina
2012253Chandler HarnishColtsQBNIU
2011254Cheta OzougwuTexansDERice
2010255Tim TooneLionsWRWeber State
2009256Ryan SuccopChiefsKSouth Carolina
2008252David VoboraRamsOLBIdaho
2007255Ramzee RobinsonLionsCBAlabama
2006255Kevin McMahanRaidersWRMaine
2005255Andy StokesPatriotsTEWilliam Penn
2004255Andre SommersellRaidersLBColorado State
2003262Ryan HoagRaidersWRGustavus Adolphus
2002261Ahmad MillerTexansDTUNLV
2001246Tevita OfahengaueCardinalsTEBrigham Young
2000254Michael GreenBearsDBNorthwestern State
1999253Jim FinnBearsRBPennsylvania
1998241Cam QuayleRavensTEWeber State
1997240Ronnie McAdaPackersQBArmy
1996254Sam Manuel49ersLBNew Mexico State
1995249Michael ReedPanthersDBBoston College
1994222Marty MoorePatriotsLBKentucky
1993224Daron AlcornBuccaneersKAkron
1992336Matt ElliottCommandersCMichigan
1991334Larry WankeGiantsQBJohn Carroll
1990331Demetrius DavisRaidersTENevada
1989335Everett RossVikingsWROhio State
1988333Jeff BeathardRamsWRSouthern Oregon
1987335Norman JeffersonPackersDBLSU
1986333Mike TravisChargersDBGeorgia Tech
1985336Donald Chumley49ersDTGeorgia
1984336Randy EssingtonRaidersQBColorado
1983335John TuggleGiantsRBCalifornia
1982334Tim Washington49ersDBFresno State
1981332Phil NelsonRaidersTEDelaware
1980333Tyrone McGriffSteelersGFlorida A&M
1979330Mike AlmondSteelersWRNorthwestern State
1978334Lee WashburnCowboysGMontana State
1977335Jim KelleherVikingsRBColorado
1976487Kelvin KirkSteelersWRDayton