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Denver Broncos make Chad Kelly Mr. Irrelevant, and he loves it

WHEATFIELD -- Chad Kelly's agonizing, three-day wait ended at 6:27 p.m. with a call from the Denver Broncos GM and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway.

The former St. Joe's quarterback was selected with the final pick of the entire draft, 253rd overall and ceremonial Mr. Irrelevant.

The call from Denver came about 30 seconds after Kelly stormed out of his parents' house, declaring his draft experience over with three picks unannounced. Kelly bounded back into the house, beaming, phone pressed to his ear.

Kelly plopped down on the couch, and the living room erupted.

Mr. Irrelevant has been NFL tradition since 1976.

"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," Mr. Irrelevant founder Paul Salata explains on the Mr. Irrelevant site. "The last draft pick's demonstration of perseverance is lesson that resonates not only with NFL players and fans, but also with people everywhere."

Inside Chad Kelly's anxious NFL Draft experience, right down to the very last pick

With the draft taking place in Philadelphia this year, Kelly was announced from the stage as the Rocky Balboa of this year's draft.

One of Kelly's questions to offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was how quickly he could get his hand on the playbook.

Kelly broke several Ole Miss records in his two seasons there. In 2015, he became the first Ole Miss quarterback to beat five top-25 teams and to beat Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the same season.

He operated the highest-scoring offense in school history, led the SEC in total offense, passing yards and touchdowns. Kelly was Sugar Bowl MVP.

Kelly considered turning pro, but decided returning for his senior season would help his draft stock. Perhaps he could make a run at the Heisman Trophy.

But a knee injury limited him to nine games. Kelly lost his top receiver and blocker to the draft, and Ole Miss struggled. Still, he completed 65.1 percent of his throws for 4,402 yards and 31 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. He ran for 500 yards and team-high 10 TDs.

His performances, however, were eclipsed by an accumulation of injuries and questionable off-field decisions.

Kelly had surgery on his right ACL twice, a sports hernia and a torn right wrist ligament that he's still recovering from.

He was bounced from Clemson's program in April 2014 for insubordination, was arrested in December 2014 for an altercation at a Buffalo bar, made some social-media commotion and was uninvited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

Reports: Chad Kelly leaves Ole Miss Pro Day with wrist injury

Watch: Our Team's Takeaway from Day Three of the NFL Draft

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