NFL Draft: Final pick Kalan Reed looks to shake Mr. Irrelevant tag

Kalan Reed (#11) was honored as the last pick in the NFL Draft, earning the title Mr. Irrelevant.

Story highlights

  • Kalan Reed chosen last with 253rd pick
  • Southern Miss cornerback dubbed Mr. Irrelevant
  • Senior recorded four touchdown and two picks at Southern Miss
  • Ran 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds

(CNN)He may be Mr. Irrelevant, but Kalan Reed will likely leave a lasting imprint on the NFL with the Tennessee Titans.

Picked 253rd in the NFL Draft on Saturday, Reed earned the title Mr. Irrelevant -- traditionally bestowed on the player slotted dead last in the annual college football cattle call.
    The cornerback from Southern Miss was initially picked by the Denver Broncos, though the defending Super Bowl champions had already traded the selection earlier in the draft to the Titans.
    Not wishing to miss out on a marketing opportunity, the Broncos had already stitched a jersey for Reed with the number 253 and the name Mr Irrelevant on its back.
    But it's the Titans who may just have a steal on their hands.
    Reed competed in the overlooked Conference USA, where he scored two touchdowns off four interceptions in his senior season. Reed is listed at a svelte five-foot 11-inches and 192 pounds, which may explain why he wasn't invited to the NFL Draft combine.
    He did, however, run a speedy time of 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the Southern Miss pro day, while posting a 41.5 inch vertical leap.
    Mr. Irrelevant celebrations began in 1976, when former 49ers receiver Paul Salata founded "Irrelevant Week" in Newport Beach, California. The player earns the dubious distinction of parading around town with the Lowsman Trophy, an ironic take on the Heisman Trophy given to college football's top player annually.
    Reed is set to join Lowsman winner Ryan Succop in Tennessee, the Titans' starting placekicker for the past two seasons.
    Publicity surrounding Mr. Irrelevant peaked in 1979 when the Los Angeles Rams, who owned the second-to-last pick, tried to defer it to the Pittsburgh Steelers who were picking last.
    Both teams argued over who owned the rights to Mr. Irrelevant until the NFL's league office stepped in to institute a rule banning the practice of passing on a pick to go last.

    German taken in draft

    For any player drafted late like Reed, earning a roster spot is a tall order. But then there's Moritz Boehringer, who wasn't even interested in football until five years ago.
    Boehringer, a wide receiver from Germany, said he was 17 years old when he first started watching football online -- specifically, videos of Minnesota Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson.
    Suddenly, the two have the potential to be teammates.
    On Saturday, the Vikings drafted Boehringer -- who played for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the German Football League -- in the sixth round. He's the first player to be drafted directly from a European league to the NFL.
    "I heard he has a very strong handshake," Boehringer said of Peterson. "I will be prepared for that."
    Boehringer describes himself as big, physical and fast with good hands. And while he hoped to be drafted, that was far away from a sure thing.
    "We spend a lot of time trying to look under every rock," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said following the draft. "There are guys that will come across our desk and you hear this, or you hear that. When we get a hint that someone may have the ability to play at this level, that's our job to go out and uncover it."
    Admittedly, the Vikings pick is a shot in the dark, with no guarantee whether the German's ability will translate to the NFL.
    "We drafted him because of what he is as a football player and what we project him to potentially be," Spielman said. "Is he raw? He's going to have a little bit of an eye-opener just with the speed of the game. But he has such unique size.
    "We're looking at him first and foremost as a football player, and a guy that has a lot of potential that's there for our coaches to work with," Speilman added. "Whether he's from Germany or from USC or wherever."
    Last year, Australian rugby league player Jarryd Hayne made headlines when he survived the final cut on the 49ers roster. Even though all his games were broadcast in Australia, Hayne was used sparingly. He finished the season with only 17 rushing attempts and six receptions.
    Hayne is still with the Niners and could be joined by fellow Aussie Blake Muir, who was picked up as an undrafted offensive lineman from the University of Hawaii after the completion of the draft.