Former Broncos WR Rod Smith Takes Strong Stance on Hall of Fame

Rod Smith

Getty Former Denver Broncos WR Rod Smith running with the ball after a catch against the New England Patriots.

Former Denver Broncos pass rusher DeMarcus Ware will be going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 3. There’s another former Broncos player that believes that he should be inducted into the Hall of Fame as well.

Broncos Ring of Fame wide receiver Rod Smith told Chris Tomasson of the Denver Gazette that he deserves to be in with the elite class.

“I feel I’m deserving but I don’t get to vote,” Smith said. “We had a 1,000-yard rusher every year I was there (except for one). You’ve got to look at my complete body of work. During my era, we won more games than just about anybody. At the end of the day, what I cared about more than anything was winning, and they can’t take the Super Bowls away from me.”

Smith was part of the back-to-back Super Bowl-winning teams that the Broncos had in 1998 and 1999. The undrafted star also helped block the way for running back Terrell Davis to rush for 2,000 yards in 1998.

“Rod Smith is one of the biggest reasons why we did win those back-to-back Super Bowls,’’ said Mike Shanahan, coach of those Super Bowl-winning teams. “You don’t get any stronger than how he led on and off the field. Throughout his career, he never missed one offseason program and he took as much pride in the running game as he did in the passing game. In my opinion, he’s definitely (deserving of the Hall of Fame).”

Rod Smith Might be the Best Undrafted WR Ever

After going undrafted in 1994, Smith signed with the Broncos as a free agent and eventually made the 53-man roster. His first-ever catch came against the Washington Redskins in 1995 on a game-winning 43-yard strike from hall of fame quarterback John Elway.

Smith made a huge statement to Tomasson saying, “I’m the best undrafted receiver in NFL history.’’

Smith is the all-time leading receiver in Broncos history with 849 receptions, 11,389 yards and 68 touchdowns.

The former Missouri Southern Lion had eight seasons of 1,000 yards and two seasons of at least 100 receptions.

Where we sit today, Smith has a legit argument on being the best undrafted wide receiver ever.

Smith owns the record for the most receiving yards and touchdowns by an undrafted player. He also ranks second in receptions behind former Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker (903).

Smith is also only the sixth player in NFL history to have 100 receptions against at least 3 teams (Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders).

Smith Owns Better Numbers Than Other Hall of Famers

When discussing if a player deserves to be in the hall of fame, the voters must look at the numbers and discuss where they rank among other hall of famers.

Smith has more receiving touchdowns than hall of famers Michael Irvin, Cliff Branch, Charlie Joiner, and Bobby Mitchell.

Not only does Smith have more touchdowns than Irvin, he also has more receptions than the Cowboys’ star. Irvin also had hall of fame quarterback Troy Aikman throwing him the ball for 11 years while Smith only had Elway for four years.

In fact, Smith had six 1,000-yard seasons after Elway was his quarterback.

Former Detroit Lions hall of fame receiver Calvin Johnson, considered one of the most talented receivers of all time, only has 230 more yards than Smith. Irvin has just 515 more yards.

Andre Reed on the other hand, has 1,809 more yards than Smith, but also played four more seasons than the Denver star.

Though Smith can get hurt from consideration for the hall of fame because he was named to just three Pro Bowls, but he said those are, “more of a popularity vote” and “fanfare.”

Smith was named an All-Pro twice in his Broncos career.

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