Denver Broncos Countdown to Kickoff: 64 Days

Justin Edmonds

How does Rod Smith compare to his contemporaries who also have yet to be inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame?

The Numbers Game

Player

S

Games

Rec

Rec/G

Yards

Yards/G

Avg/catch

TD

TD/G

PB

%

AP

%

SB W

Tim Brown

17

255

1094

4.3

14934

58.6

13.8

100

0.39

9

.53

0

0

0

Isaac Bruce

16

223

1024

4.6

15208

68.2

14.9

91

0.41

4

.25

0

0

1

Mark Clayton

11

158

582

3.2

8974

56.8

15.4

84

0.53

5

.45

0

0

0

Antonio Freeman

9

132

477

3.6

7251

54.9

15.2

61

0.46

1

.11

1

0.11

1

Keyshawn Johnson

11

167

814

4.9

10571

63.3

13.0

64

0.38

3

.27

0

0

1

Anthony Miller

10

155

595

3.8

9148

59.0

15.4

63

0.41

5

.50

0

0

0

Herman Moore

12

146

670

4.6

9174

62.8

13.7

62

0.42

4

.33

3

0.25

0

Carl Pickens

9

129

540

4.2

7129

55.3

13.2

63

0.48

2

.22

0

0

0

Andre Reed

16

234

951

4.1

13198

56.4

13.9

87

0.37

7

.44

0

0

0

Andre Rison

12

186

743

4.0

10205

54.9

13.7

84

0.45

5

.42

1

0.08

1

Hines Ward

14

217

1000

4.6

12083

55.7

12.1

85

0.39

4

.29

0

0

2

Sterling Sharpe

7

112

595

5.3

8134

72.6

13.7

65

0.58

5

.63

3

.38

0

Rod Smith

12

183

849

4.6

11389

62.2

13.4

68

0.37

3

.25

0

0

2

Rod Smith stacks up favorably with all of these men. He has longevity with 12 seasons and 183 games, and he has production. If you're asking me who I think belongs in the HOF from this list, I'd probably go with Tim Brown, Isaac Bruce, Andre Reed, Sterling Sharpe, Hines Ward, Rod Smith, and perhaps Herman Moore. Moore is the only multiple pro bowl/all pro player besides Sterling Sharpe. Out of those core players, here's how he stacks up:

Player

Rec

Rank

Yards

R

Yards/G

Avg/catch

R

TD

TD/G

R

PB

R

%

AP

R

%

SB W

R

Tim Brown

1094

4.3

14934

2

58.6

13.8

3

100

0.39

4

9

1

.53

0

2

0

0

3

Isaac Bruce

1024

4.6

15208

1

68.2

14.9

1

91

0.41

3

4

4

.25

0

6

0

1

2

Herman Moore

670

4.6

9174

6

62.8

13.7

4

62

0.42

2

4

4

.33

3

4

0.25

0

3

Andre Reed

951

4.1

13198

3

56.4

13.9

2

87

0.37

5

7

2

.44

0

3

0

0

3

Hines Ward

1000

4.6

12083

4

55.7

12.1

6

85

0.39

4

4

4

.29

0

5

0

2

1

Sterling Sharpe

595

5.3

8134

7

72.6

13.7

4

65

0.58

1

5

3

.63

3

1

.38

0

3

Rod Smith

849

4.6

11389

5

62.2

13.4

5

68

0.37

5

3

5

.25

0

6

0

2

1

Here's where there's some disappointment as a Broncos fan. Besides super bowl titles, Rod is last or at the bottom of every one of these categories.

Do I think numbers are all important? Certainly not. But the bulk of what a HOF committee looks at in regards to skill position players and receivers will be based upon their production and numbers. Can't ignore it. Bottom line, if all these guys make it in eventually, Rod Smith will have to probably wait a bit longer.

Sterling Sharpe is a very tragic case. Like TD his numbers are outright scary, his career was just cut short. Even still, Sterling belongs, he was that good a player!

Wildcard?

I had this discussion with prodigal fan earlier in HT, and my contention was that the fact that Smith is an UDFA shouldn't necessarily mean his career production gets him into the HOF. Prodigal had a great response, and it has me rethinking my stance a bit:

It's in the name. It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Players With the Best Numbers. There are many exhibits in the Hall that are of players who, while certainly not the best or most talented, did things that no one else did before them. I think that Smith's production as someone who wasn't drafted should qualify him on that basis. No one in NFL history who went undrafted ever produced the way he did. That sets him apart, makes him a unique piece of NFL history. And having visited the HOF, I can say from first hand experience that the Hall is about preserving and acknowledging the history of the game.

You've seen the numbers, you've heard a good argument--you choose. Is Rod Smith HOF worthy?

Cool 64 Factoid:


The 1964 Denver Broncos played the Oakland Raiders to a 1-1 tie. The Broncos managed to beat the Jets and Chiefs that season...and nobody else...ugh.

Notable Broncos to wear #64:

Bud McFadin 1960-1963

Current Bronco wearing #64:

Phillip Blake

Read More: Denver Broncos by the Numbers: #64 (Kaptain Kirk)

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