Who Was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2024 NFL Draft? Learn More About Jets DB Jaylen Key

It's quite the spectacle to be picked as Mr. Irrelevant. Learn more about New York Jets DB Jaylen Key who was this year's selection.

The 2024 NFL Draft ended when former Alabama safety Jaylen Key was selected with the 257th pick by the New York Jets. Learn more about this year’s “Mr. Irrelevant” and his journey to the NFL.

Get To Know This Year’s Mr. Irrelevant, Jaylen Key

Key is a defensive back who played his final collegiate season at Alabama after starting his his career with UAB. Key started every game in 2023 for the Crimson Tide, often flashing his size and athleticism in the back end of their defense.

In his introduction to the New York media, Key spoke about being this year’s Mr. Irrelevant and how San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy elevated the standard after the success he has enjoyed since being the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Key will compete to make the 53-man roster in Jets training camp, which will require him to showcase his ability as a valuable depth piece in the secondary and on special teams.

What Is Mr. Irrelevant?

The term ‘Mr. Irrelevant‘ was first introduced in 1976 when Paul Salata, a former USC Trojans WR came up with the name.

Salata got the approval of then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle to buy into the idea of celebrating the final selection of the draft and orchestrated flying the final pick of the draft that year, Kelvin Kirk of the Pittsburgh Steelers, to Newport Beach for a week of festivities.

When asked about the decision to start the celebration of Mr. Irrelevant, Salata spoke about simply just praising a young man for his hard work and all it took for him to get here.

“Everyone who is drafted works hard, and some of them don’t get any recognition,” Salata said to The New York Times in 2017. “They do their work and should be noticed.”

Now, every year since the final selection of the NFL Draft will always be remembered as that year’s Mr. Irrelevant and get treated the way Salata always intended for them to be.

Notable Mr. Irrelevant Selections

With the success rate of NFL Draft picks as low as it is, it’s obviously even lower for the player selected with the very last pick. However, there have been plenty of exceptions, with the most notable one having just led his team to the Super Bowl in his second season.

Brock Purdy

Nobody has been more outstanding as Mr. Irrelevant than the current 49ers QB. In his short two years in the NFL, Purdy has already been to two NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl. Purdy may forever be the poster child for this honor and will be viewed as the top of the class for quite some time.

Ryan Succop

Before Purdy came, Ryan Succop was at the top of the totem pole when it came to Mr. Irrelevant selections.

KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Draft’s Best Undrafted Players — Kedon Slovis, Tanner Mordecai Help Headline This Year’s Class

The 2009 selection spent 14 seasons in the NFL as a kicker, with the final three coming with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he won a Super Bowl. Succop finished his career with a field goal percentage of 82.9%, putting him in the top 40 all-time in NFL history.

Tae Crowder

Crowder was Mr. Irrelevant back in 2020, and the linebacker has quietly enjoyed a fruitful NFL career. After being drafted by the New York Giants, where he tallied 232 total tackles, two sacks, and two interceptions in three seasons, he has since signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers to continue his career.

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