Biography: Rod Smith, WR

Rod Smith
Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith talks during his induction into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame during an NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Rod Smith, the franchise’s all-time leading receiver, was elected to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2012.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection (2000-01, ‘05), Smith played 183 regular-season games (158 starts) over 12 seasons while setting club records for receptions (849), receiving yards (11,389) and receiving touchdowns (68). He also established the team’s career postseason receiving marks with 49 catches for 860 yards and six touchdowns in 13 playoff games, including Denver’s back-to-back Super Bowl championships following the 1997 and ‘98 seasons.

Originally signed by the Broncos as a college free agent from Division II Missouri Southern University in 1994, Smith spent his rookie season on Denver’s practice squad. His first NFL reception came against the Washington Redskins on Sept. 17, 1995, on a 43-yard catch from quarterback John Elway as time expired to give the Broncos a dramatic 38-31 victory.

Smith eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark in six consecutive seasons from 1997-2002 and in a club-record eight seasons overall (also from 2004-05). His produced a franchise-best 30 100-yard receiving games in the regular season, including in a career-high eight contests during the 2000 season.

Following his final game as a Bronco at the conclusion of the 2006 regular season, Smith was ranked 11th in NFL history in career receptions (849), 17th in career receiving yards (11,389) and tied for 30th in career receiving touchdowns (68).

His string of posting 70 or more catches for nine consecutive seasons (1997-2005) tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history, and his career receiving yardage total still leads all undrafted players in league annals.