Late Bloomer #10: Rod Smith
Smith has one of the best but easily forgotten rags to riches story in NFL history. He went un-drafted after playing his college football at division 2 Missouri Southern State. He didn’t get his first chance in the NFL until age 25. The first catch of his career was a game-winning Hail Mary catch from John Elway. But it wasn’t until two years later in 1997 that he finally burst onto the season with his 1,000-yard season. It would become the first of eight 1,000-yard season, including six in a row. Smith and Ed McCaffrey would become one of the most productive but understated receiving tandems in NFL history and a big reason why Elway finished his career with back-to-back Super Bowl wins with the Broncos.