It was great to see the Jacksonville Jaguars be represented in the Pro Football Hall of Fame at last when former left tackle Tony Boselli was inducted earlier this year. However, he’s not the only Jaguars legend that deserves a gold jacket and the HOF committee should prioritize enshrining former wide receiver Jimmy Smith.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Media recently shared his list of the most underrated receivers of all time and Smith made the cut. Harold Jackson got the top spot and Sterling Sharpe landed at No. 3. Henry Ellard claimed the third place and Torry Holt, who also played for Jacksonville, landed at No. 4. You could make a case that Pelissero has Rams bias since Jackson, Ellard, and Holt played for them but that’s beside the point.
Then again, Holt is far from underrated. He’s routinely been a HOF finalist and it’s just a matter of time before he gets the nod. Meanwhile, Smith is constantly underlooked and still waiting for a chance. You could even argue he’s stuck in some sort of limbo, as he will often show up on lists of underrated players, but he’s not good enough in the eyes of voters to get him inducted.
This is puzzling when you take into account that Smith is only one of three receivers in NFL history to post nine 1,000-yard seasons. Randy Moss and Jerry Rice are the other two. All in all, the Jaguars legend finished his pro career with 862 receptions with 12,287 yards with 67 touchdowns. This is even more impressive when you take into account that he really got going until his fourth year in the league. Here’s Pelissero’s list in case you want to take a look at it.
The Hall of Fame must induct Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith soon
All the receivers in Pelissero’s list have a strong case to make the HOF, so this isn’t a question of enshrining Smith ahead of them. Holt was a key cog in the Greatest Show on Turf offense while Sharpe is one of only four wideouts to earn the triple receiving crown — leading the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Harold Jackson was a Pro Bowl receiver in the 1970s and Henry Ellard was a mainstay of the Rams’ offense in the 1980s.
Having said that, Smith is still not in the Hall of Fame and just because he isn’t frustrated about it doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve it. Sure, it’s not easy for voters to come up with a list of players every year but they can’t keep overlooking him forever. This is equally true for running back Fred Taylor, whose induction has been due for a while.
Now that Boselli is in, there should not be a logjam of Jaguars players trying to get into the Hall of Fame, which should increase the chances of both Smith and Taylor to get in.