This former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver was better than Edelman.
When listing the reasons why Julian Edelman should get a gold jacket, you will probably hear that he’s one of the toughest wide receivers of his generation. Putting aside that’s not remotely true, as Steve Smith and Anquan Boldin were significantly better and tougher players, this is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of the grittiest.
Not long before the Edelman debate arose, a post on social media highlighted how great former Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith was. Besides him, only Randy Moss, and Jerry Rice had at least nine 1,000-yard receiving seasons in NFL history. That’s some pretty good company to be with. You are doing something right if your production matches that of the greatest wide receiver ever (Rice) and the most athletically gifted one (Moss).
Although Smith was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, he registered no receptions and was waived in 1994. The Philadelphia Eagles claimed him the same year but quickly moved on from the Jackson State product. A year later, the Jags signed him, a decision the team felt great about, as he went on to have a successful NFL career in Jacksonville, appearing in 171 games with 150 starts and hauling in 862 receptions for 12,287 yards and 67 touchdowns.
You could argue that Smith’s off-field issues should disqualify him from Hall-of-Fame consideration, but former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, who already got in, stabbed a teammate in the neck with a pair of scissors and voters didn’t think much of it. After all, players make the hall because of their on-field accomplishments.