Which Denver Broncos Should Be in the Hall of Fame Next
Written by: Scott Corbridge (Staff Writer)
There are numerous greats in the history of the Denver Broncos and there are five Broncos in the Hall of Fame, as Terrell Davis becomes the next to enter the hallowed halls of football immortality. Yet one name isn’t in there that should be considering he name wasn’t announced on draft day.
That man is Rod Smith, good old No. 80 of Missouri Southern State. Marshall Faulk, Willie McGinest, Trent Dilfer and Bryant Young are all players you might recognize from the 1994 draft. Faulk is workhorse running back in the Hall of Fame, Dilfer is a veteran journeyman and McGinest and Young became franchise players.
Smith seems to have fallen in the land of the forgotten outside of the Mile High City and his credentials merits him some discussion in the vote of who gets to be chosen to get that bronze bust and gold jacket. Coming out of college at a respectable 6’0” and 200 pounds, Smith had all the tangibles to be a consistent and reliable weapon for Broncos field general and hall of famer himself John Elway.
Smith was able to rack up over 11,000 yards and 68 touchdowns. That feat compared to some of the other receivers taken in the ’94 draft makes Smith worthy to be chosen to enter Canton. What needs to be examined more closely was the comparison of some of the other wide outs taken in the draft. Or more specifically, the first receiver called. The 17th overall pick was none other than Charles Johnson out of Colorado. While Johnson did win a Super Bowl (XXXVI) as a member of the Patriots, his stats weren’t anything spectacular (4,606 rec. yards, 24 touchdowns) over a nine-year span that saw him in the uniform of four different teams.
Rod only wore one in his whole 13-year career. In today’s standards, that is incredibly rare to see. Smith will go down as a fan favorite here in Denver, remembered for his 80-yard touchdown from Elway against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII. But now he can add his 849 rec., 11,389 yards and 68 touchdowns as collateral. Even though he wasn’t called back in 1994, he should have every chance to hear his name for the gold jacket come 2018. But now he has the accolades to back up the argument.