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Broncos make Chad Kelly Mr. Irrelevant XLII

Steve Virgen
Sports Editor, The Daily Pilot

Broncos make Chad Kelly Mr. Irrelevant XLII

The Denver Broncos made their first Mr. Irrelevant pick an intriguing one as they selected Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly to close out the 2017 NFL Draft.

Kelly, a quarterback with great potential, was picked No. 253, the last selection of the draft and became Mr. Irrelevant XLII. He will be celebrated during the annual Irrelevant Week in Southern California, based in Newport Beach. The long-standing NFL tradition was created by Paul Salata, a former NFL player who wanted to do something good for someone for no reason and celebrate the underdog.

Kelly, the nephew and godson of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, is an underdog with some pizzazz. He had a huge year in 2015 for Ole Miss, leading the Rebels to wins over Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the same year for the first time in school history. He was named first-team All-Southeastern Conference in 2015 when he threw for 4,042 yards, 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions to go with 500 yards rushing and 10 rushing TDs. He was also the Sugar Bowl MVP.

His season was cut short in 2016 when he suffered a torn right ACL and lateral meniscus in November, but he was still named second-team All-SEC after throwing 19 touchdown passes. He owns the school record with 22 consecutive games with a passing TD. His 12 career 300-yard passing games are the most in school history. He set 25 school records (game, season, career) over his 22-game Ole Miss career. He started all 22 games as a Rebel and finished his career ranked top 10 in school history in career passing yards (3rd), pass attempts (7th), completions (4th), passing TDs (3rd), total offense (3rd) and TDs responsible for (3rd).

“I’m so blessed to have a chance to play this great game,” Kelly said. “To have the opportunity to be a leader of a team is an honor. I can’t wait to get there and get started.” Melanie Salata Fitch, Paul’s daughter and the CEO of Irrelevant Week, announced the final pick, ushering in a new player into a unique fraternity, which includes kicker Ryan Succop (2009) and last year’s Mr. Irrelevant Kalan Reed of the Tennessee Titans, as well as New York Giants fullback John Tuggle (1983).

Irrelevant Week traditionally takes place in the summer, when Mr. Irrelevant can enjoy the sunny skies and warm weather of Newport Beach. He will spend time as the center of attention during a week that includes an Arrival Party and All-Star Lowsman Trophy banquet. During the annual dinner, Mr. Irrelevant will receive the Lowsman Trophy, which depicts a player fumbling a football.

“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,” Paul 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.”

Over the past 41 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.

Melanie Salata Fitch
Email: irrelevantweek@aol.com
Phone: (619) 778-0091

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