Skip to main content

NFL Draft: Minnesotan Ryan Hoag gives an inside look at 'Mr. Irrelevant'


The NFL Draft starts Thursday night, and while the focus of the first day will be on who will be drafted in the first round, there's another part of the draft that is far less talked about.

By now we've heard the stories: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a 6th round pick – 15 years later he is a four-time Super Bowl champion.

Former Broncos quarterback John Elway didn't win a Super Bowl until Terrell Davis showed up, a 6th round pick himself. In 1997 and '98, it was Davis, not Elway, who helped propel the Broncos to back-to-back titles.

While Brady and Davis were late picks, not even they know what it feels like to be the last pick, also known as "Mr. Irrelevant."

But Ryan Hoag does.

Now a high school soccer coach at Minneapolis Washburn, Hoag was the last player taken in the 2003 NFL Draft. A standout at Division III Gustavus-Adolphus in St. Peter, Hoag was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the last pick in the draft.

While he has never played in a regular-season NFL game, Hoag did spend some time with quite a few teams – including the Vikings – over his three-year NFL career.

This embed is invalid

Hoag offers and interesting perspective on what it's like to be Mr. Irrelevant in a story from From the excitement leading up to the draft, to the daily phone calls from NFL coaches, to the disappointment of watching the draft continue without hearing your name called.

"Next thing you know I get a call, and the lady on the other line tells me to hold for Bill Callahan, who was the Raiders coach. My eyes were huge, and everybody read my mind. They knew. He comes on the phone and asks, 'How would you like to be Mr. Irrelevant?' And there were so many emotions that went through my entire body at the time that I hung up on him. What a great first impression. No wonder they cut me. Everybody cheered. It was a surreal experience and something I'll never forget."

Next Up

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook has dislocated shoulder, will undergo MRI

The Vikings running back was carted off the field in Sunday's loss to the 49ers.

Kirk Cousins

Watch: Kirk Cousins lines up under guard on critical 4th down play

Kirk Cousins went "Full Kirk" at the worst possible time.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook injured, Vikings drop crucial game against 49ers

The Vikings couldn't stop the Niners' rushing attack in a 34-26 loss.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man airlifted to a hospital after police shooting in Forest Lake

Police allege that the man presented a threat to officers.

Minnesota Wild

Wild's two third-period goals take down the Lightning

Ryan Hartman's go-ahead goal defeated the two-time defending champions.

Byron Buxton

Reports: Twins reach extension with Byron Buxton

The long-term deal locks in one of the Twins' franchise players.

Justin Jefferson

Vikings-49ers: 5 things you can count on

Sunday's matchup is a pivotal game in the NFC playoff picture.

Gopher Football

Watch: Gophers troll Badgers with 'Jump Around' after Saturday's win

First they took Paul Bunyan's Axe. Then they took their tradition.

Brandon Richart, missing person

Search underway for missing man in Anoka area

Brandon Richart was last seen Nov. 17.

U.S. Bank Stadium

5 teams win first state championships at Prep Bowl

A pair of records fell as the Prep Bowl lived up to the hype.