Have the Cincinnati Bengals ever drafted Mr. Irrelevant?

2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3 / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Mr. Irrelevant is the moniker given to the last player selected in the NFL Draft every year. Often, that player doesn't pan out. Sometimes though, that pick ends up turning into a productive player and becoming a sweet surprise for the team that drafted him.

Current San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Brock Purdy is an excellent example of such a player, as is kicker Ryan Succop, who has enjoyed a 14-year career after being the last pick in 2009.

Have the Bengals ever drafted Mr. Irrelevant?

When it comes to the last pick in the NFL Draft, Cincinnati's history is brief. The Bengals made the final pick in the draft just once in franchise history.

With the final pick in the 1968 draft, the Bengals selected tight end Jimmy Smith from Jackson State. It's worth noting that drafts were much longer back then, so Smith was selected with the 462nd overall pick at the conclusion of 17th round.

Ironically enough, 1968 was the first year of Cincinnati's existence as a franchise, so that means that the team hasn't made the final pick in the draft since the first draft in team history. That's 56 years, and counting.

What happened to Cincinnati's Mr. Irrelevant?

Smith never panned out in the pros, but his son, Jimmy Smith Jr., did. Smith Jr. was drafted in the second round (36th overall) in 1992, and he spent time with the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles before really catching on with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Over the course of his career, Smith Jr. won two Super Bowls as a member of the Cowboys, and he made five Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams as a member of the Jaguars. He led the league in receptions in 1999, and he scored 67 total touchdowns.

With a bond built through football, the elder Smith stayed close with his son throughout his successful career.

"I really mean this when I say this about my son and I know fathers say it all the time," the elder Smith once said. "We're best friends. He would talk to me about any problem he would have. School. Girls. Football. There was no peer thing with him. We talked about everything."

The Bengals don't posses the final pick in the upcoming '24 draft, so it will be another year, at least, before they get an opportunity to add another Mr. Irrelevant.