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‘Mr. Irrelevant’ to Super Bowl champ: How Bucs’ Ryan Succop made last-place history by finishing first

Ryan Succop wasn’t on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ roster in training camp, his football future in limbo. The veteran kicker earned an opportunity to stay in the NFL when the Buccaneers signed him a week before the start of the regular season, replacing 2019 fifth-round pick Matt Gay. All Succop did was keep the job all season and win the Super Bowl, becoming the first “Mr. Irrelevant” in NFL history to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy. 

“Mr. Irrelevant” is the title given to the last player taken in the NFL Draft. Of the current seven-round format of the NFL Draft (instituted in 1994), Succop and former New England Patriots linebacker Marty Moore were the only two “Mr. Irrelevant” selections to play in a Super Bowl (Moore played in Super Bowl XXXI in 1996, a 35-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers). Succop is the only player to win a Super Bowl who was taken with the last pick since 1976 — the first year the title “Mr. Irrelevant” was used.

Succop owns the title of the best “Mr. Irrelevant” in history. Selected as the final pick in the 2009 draft, Succop has kicked for 12 seasons in the NFL with three teams (Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, and Buccaneers). Succop has converted 83% of his field goal attempts in his career and 96.3% of his extra point attempts. He’s made 93.1% of his extra point attempts (203 of 218) since the league moved the extra point attempt back in 2015.

Succop converted 28 of 31 field goal attempts this season (90.3%) and 52 of 57 extra point attempts (91.2%) last season with the Buccaneers. In the postseason, Succop was a perfect 9 for 9 on field goal attempts and 12 of 13 on extra point attempts (92.3%). In Super Bowl LV, Succop went 4 for 4 on extra point attempts and converted his only field goal attempt — a 52-yard field goal that put Tampa Bay up 31-9 over Kansas City in the third quarter (which was the final score).  Succop has never missed a field goal attempt in eight postseason games.

Here’s a look at every “Mr. Irrelevant” since the term began in 1976:

2020: Tae Crowder, LB, New York Giants
2019: Caleb Wilson, TE, Arizona Cardinals
2018: Trey Quinn, WR, Washington Redskins
2017: Chad Kelly, QB, Denver Broncos
2016: Kalan Reed, CB, Tennessee Titans
2015: Gerald Christian, TE, Arizona Cardinals
2014: Lonnie Ballentine, S, Houston Texans
2013: Justice Cunningham, TE, Indianapolis Colts
2012: Chandler Harnish, QB, Indianapolis Colts
2011: Cheta Ozougwu, DE, Texans
2010: Tim Toone, WR, Detroit Lions
2009: Ryan Succop, K, Kansas City Chiefs
2008: David Vobora, OLB, St. Louis Rams
2007: Ramzee Robinson, CB, Lions
2006: Kevin McMahan, WR, Oakland Raiders
2005: Andy Stokes, TE, New England Patriots
2004: Andre Sommersell, LB, Oakland Raiders
2003: Ryan Hoag, WR, Oakland Raiders
2002: Ahmad Miller, DT, Houston Texans
2001: Tevita Ofahengaue, TE, Arizona Cardinals 
2000: Michael Green, DB, Chicago Bears 
1999: Jim Finn, RB, Chicago Bears
1998: Cam Quayle, TE, Baltimore Ravens
1997: Ronnie McAda, QB, Green Bay Packers
1996: Sam Manuel, LB, San Francisco 49ers
1995: Michael Reed, DB, Carolina Panthers
1994: Marty Moore, LB, New England Patriots
1993: Daron Alcorn, K, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1992: Matt Elliott, C, Washington Redskins
1991: Larry Wanke, QB, New York Giants
1990: Demetrius Davis, TE, Oakland Raiders
1989: Everett Ross, WR, Minnesota Vikings
1988: Jeff Beathard, WR, Los Angeles Rams
1987: Norman Jefferson, DB, Green Bay Packers
1986: Mike Travis, DB, Los Angeles Chargers
1985: Donald Chumley, DT, San Francisco 49ers
1984: Randy Essington, QB, Oakland Raiders
1983: John Tuggle, RB, New York Giants
1982: Tim Washington, DB, San Francisco 49ers
1981: Phil Nelson, TE, Oakland Raiders
1980: Tyrone McGriff, G, Pittsburgh Steelers
1979: Mike Almond, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers 
1978: Lee Washburn, G, Dallas Cowboys
1977: Jim Kelleher, RB, Minnesota Vikings
1976: Kelvin Kirk, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers




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