Have the Denver Broncos ever drafted Mr. Irrelevant?

The last pick in the draft is known as Mr. Irrelevant.
Minnesota Vikings v Denver Broncos
Minnesota Vikings v Denver Broncos / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

The last pick in the NFL draft each year has long been known as Mr. Irrelevant and as far as the draft itself goes, that player is far from irrelevant.

That player gets a custom jersey with the number of the pick he was selected at along with an entire week-long celebration in Newport Beach, California where he gets sent to Disneyland, plays in a golf tournament, and takes part in a ceremony where he is awarded the Lowsman Trophy. This was all set up back in 1976 by Paul Salata, a wide receiver from USC who was selected with the last pick in the draft.

The last pick in the draft each year has turned out to be irrelevant in many cases but there have been some notable selections. When the San Francisco 49ers were able to get Brock Purdy with the last pick in 2022. That really brought much more attention to the concept of Mr. Irrelevant than really ever before.

But looking back through history, here are some other Mr. Irrelevant selections who you may have heard of:

New England Patriots: Marty Moore, LB, Kentucky (1994)
Kansas City Chiefs: Ryan Succup, PK, South Carolina (2009)
Washington Redskins: Trey Quinn, WR, SMU (2018)

While teams like the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins have landed Mr. Irrelevant numerous times, the Denver Broncos have made the selection just one time. However, it was one of the most noteworthy Mr. Irrelevant selections ever,

With the final pick in the 2017 draft, the No. 253 overall selection, the Broncos chose Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly. He is the nephew of Buffalo Bills legendary quarterback Jim Kelly and it was thought at the time that the Broncos selected Kelly as a favor to Jim Kelly. John Elway, who came into the league the same year as Kelly in the 1983 draft, was the Broncos general manager.

Kelly was a controversial college player with his playing career starting at Clemson. But when the team dismissed him for conduct detrimental to the team, he turned up at East Mississippi and led that school to a 12-0 record and the NJCAA National Championship.

That led him to Ole Miss the next season where he was still a highly-touted passer. But what about his attitude? That was always a question. Then, he tore his ACL in late 2016, damaging his draft hopes greatly.

But he joined the Broncos amid plenty of excitement. His live arm and family ties made him a very intriguing player. He looked really good during preseason games and would eventually win the team's backup job in 2018, beating out former first-round pick Paxton Lynch.

But that October, the team released Kelly after he was arrested for criminal trespass following a situation where he entered someone's home following a Halloween party. The Indianapolis Colts gave Kelly another chance but that didn't lead to anything. He is currently in the Canadian Football League as the quarterback of the Toronto Argonauts where he is coming off being the Most Outstanding Player of the entire league.

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To this day, you can still find Broncos fans who wonder what could have been with Kelly in Denver. It's a shame that his off-field issues helped sabotage his career.