CARDINALS SELECT TIGHT END CALEB WILSON AS MR. IRRELEVANT
The Arizona Cardinals had the unique opportunity of having the No. 1 pick and the final selection at No. 254 in the 2019 NFL Draft.
UCLA's Caleb Wilson was the second of those picks as the tight end earns the distinction as Mr. Irrelevant XLIV. Hopefully top pick Kyler Murray, a quarterback out of Oklahoma, isn't shy about sharing the spotlight which found Wilson on the draft's third day.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Wilson began his career as a walk-on at USC, but he redshirted and ended up cross town with the Bruins after one year. His senior season at UCLA was his best as he caught 60 passes for 965 yards, both of which led the Bruins. Wilson, who was timed as one of the fastest tight ends at the NFL Combine, was an All Pac-12 selection and the only Bruin to be honored.
But that didn't match the thrill he got when he spotted something dancing across the screen while watching the NFL Draft in Philadelphia, where his father, Chris, is a Philadelphia Eagles assistant coach.
"When I saw my name on TV I was so excited,'' Wilson said. "And I'm usually a pretty chill guy. Wilson, as Mr. Irrelevant, will hang in Newport Beach, Calif., to be celebrated, roasted and toasted during Irrelevant Week events in late June held at the iconic Balboa Bay Resort.
The highlight of the festivities is the Lowsman Banquet where Mr. Irrelevant XLIV will receive the celebrated Lowsman Trophy, a beautiful piece of hardware that has the figurine fumbling the ball -- the opposite of the Heisman Trophy. Wilson's teammate, Murray, has the Heisman. Soon Wilson, who didn't know about the Irrelevant Week shenanigans, will embrace the iconic Lowsman Trophy. "I had heard about being Mr. Irrelevant,'' he said. "But I didn't understand all that went with it.''
If Wilson, a Dallas native, survives the back-slaps in Southern California, he aims to make the rebuilding Cardinals' squad. "I'm just working on get stronger and focusing every day on how I can get better so I can help the team,'' Wilson said. "I'm working on my craft so I can play in the league and be a contributor.''
Wide receiver Trey Quinn, Mr. Irrelevant XLIII did just that last year with the Washington Redskins.
Tennessee Titans kicker Ryan Succop, Mr. Irrelevant XXXIV in 2009 (picked by the Chiefs), is among the most successful Mr. Irrelevants. He joined Irrelevant Week CEO Melanie Fitch at the podium to announce the NFL Draft’s final pick on Saturday.
It was an interesting road which led to Wilson hearing his name be called.
In his senior year at Serra High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Gardena, Wilson scored touchdowns as a rusher, receiver and he also threw for one. Wilson also averaged 36.5 yards on punts.
Wilson played at three different high schools and started his prep career at Starkville (Miss.) High where he made All-State second team after throwing for 12 touchdowns and 1,200 yards in just five games.
Wilson's father, Chris was a USC coach during his son's freshman season in 2015. The elder Wilson was fired after the season by coach Clay Helton and his son transferred to UCLA. But as usual, it produced a positive result for the younger Wilson and Irrelevant Week.
Irrelevant Week was launched in 1976 by NFL alumnus Paul Salata, a Newport Beach resident. Irrelevant Week is known as the annual celebration recognized by the NFL that honors the last player to be picked in the NFL Draft.
Salata, a standout USC player in the late 1940s, had to chuckle about Wilson's path to Irrelevant Week.
“We established Irrelevant Week to drive home an important message – that it’s not a negative to be picked last in the NFL Draft; rather, it’s an honor to be drafted at all,” Salata said. “The last draft pick’s demonstration of perseverance is a lesson that resonates not only with NFL players and fans, but also with people everywhere.”
For 44 years Irrelevant Week has become a much-anticipated and beloved celebration honoring football’s underdog, while also making charitable contributions to the community. In fact, through Irrelevant Week, the organization has donated more than $1 million to charities over the past three decades. Previous beneficiaries include the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Goodwill Industries, YMCA, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, NFL Alumni, and the American Red Cross, among others.
For interviews and media inquiries, contact Irrelevant Week CEO Melanie Salata Fitch, firstname.lastname@example.org. For all other details about Irrelevant Week and Mr. Irrelevant, please visit MrIrrelevant.org.