This year’s Mr. Irrelevant might be relevant to the Detroit Lions

This year’s Mr. Irrelevant might be relevant to the Detroit Lions

By Nicholas J. Cotsonika Detroit Free Press (MCT) Posted April 28, 2010

Three days after Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh held up a No. 1 Lions jersey as the second overall pick in the NFL draft, someone held up another Lions jersey on stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

On this one, duct tape covered the No. 1 in the shape of an “I,” honoring Mr. Irrelevant, the 255th and final pick in the NFL draft, Weber State wide receiver Tim Toone. Paul Salata made the announcement as he traditionally does.

He is the founder of Irrelevant Week, an annual five-day bash in Newport Beach, Calif., for the last man drafted. Why? To do something nice for no reason at all.

“I think it’ll be fun,” Toone said. “Just having fun with the whole situation will be a great opportunity.”

But just because Toone is Mr. Irrelevant doesn’t mean he will be irrelevant. The Lions made Alabama cornerback Ramzee Robinson the last pick (255th overall) in 2007, and after the parade and banquet and other events in Newport, he played 19 games for them. He has gone on to play for the Eagles and Browns.

Coach Jim Schwartz thinks Toone could be as popular as the colorful, intense linebacker the Lions picked in the seventh round (235th overall) last year.

“Zack Follett’s going to have some competition for new favorite player, new cult hero in Detroit,” Schwartz said, pointing out Toone not only had a lot of big numbers and honors from college, but was a “white guy with dreadlocks.”

“I hope the fans will see the same thing that we saw in him,” Schwartz said. Toone, 5-feet-10, 175 pounds, is 25 years old, having served a two-year Mormon mission in West Africa. He’s speedy. He had 95- and 90-yard punt returns for touchdowns in college.

“A lot of people tell me I’m like Wes Welker,” Toone said. “Having him in the league has helped me out a lot because he’s not the biggest guy, but he’s a hard worker, he runs great routes, he’s quick. That’s why people compare me to him, because I work hard. I try to find open holes and do everything I can to help the team win.”

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