Isaiah McKenzie

American football player (born 1995)

American football player
Isaiah McKenzie
refer to caption
McKenzie with the Buffalo Bills in 2021
No. 6 – Buffalo Bills
Position:Wide receiver,
return specialist
Personal information
Born: (1995-04-09) April 9, 1995 (age 27)
Miami, Florida
Height:5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight:173 lb (78 kg)
Career information
High school:American Heritage School
(Plantation, Florida)
College:Georgia
NFL Draft:2017 / Round: 5 / Pick: 172
Career history
  • Denver Broncos (2017–2018)
  • Buffalo Bills (2018–present)
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of Week 1, 2022
Receptions:101
Receiving yards:941
Rushing yards:175
Return yards:1,486
Total Touchdowns:12
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Isaiah McKenzie (born April 9, 1995) is an American football wide receiver and return specialist for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Georgia,[1] and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

McKenzie plays primarily at wide receiver and punt returner but has also seen playing time at the NFL level as a running back and cornerback.

College career

McKenzie's first two years with the Georgia Bulldogs saw him accumulate 190 receiving yards and 195 rushing yards,[2] as he was primarily used as a kick returner. After Kirby Smart replaced Mark Richt as head coach, McKenzie was more prominently featured in the Georgia passing game. He caught 44 receptions for 633 yards and 7 touchdowns as a junior, becoming the Bulldogs' top receiver. Leading into the 2017 NFL Draft, draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. compared McKenzie to Antonio Brown due to similarities in their kick-return abilities and athleticism.[3]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 7+12 in
(1.71 m)
173 lb
(78 kg)
28+78 in
(0.73 m)
8+78 in
(0.23 m)
4.42 s 1.52 s 2.57 s 4.15 s 6.64 s 36.0 in
(0.91 m)
10 ft 3 in
(3.12 m)
11 reps
All values from NFL Combine[4][5][6]

Denver Broncos

McKenzie with Denver in 2017

McKenzie was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round, 172nd overall, in the 2017 NFL Draft.[7]

On September 11, 2017, in the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football, McKenzie returned three punt returns for 48 net yards in his NFL debut.[8] On September 24, against the Buffalo Bills, McKenzie recorded his first career rushing attempt, a four-yard carry.[9] He totaled four receptions for 29 yards on the season.[10]

On September 10, 2018, McKenzie was waived by the Broncos and was re-signed to the practice squad.[11] He was promoted to the active roster on October 25, 2018.[12] He was waived again on November 2, 2018.[13]

Buffalo Bills

On November 5, 2018, McKenzie was claimed off waivers by the Buffalo Bills.[14]

2018

McKenzie was used as the primary kick returner, but also saw significant time on offense. He scored his first NFL touchdown, rushing 6 yards on a jet sweep, against the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 25.[15] Against the New York Jets, he was used in the run game after LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory suffered injuries, rushing for 22 yards on four carries with another touchdown to go with 47 receiving yards in the 27–23 loss.[16] He had 18 receptions for 179 receiving yards to go along with 66 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns on the season.[17]

2019

McKenzie in a game against the Washington Redskins in 2019

McKenzie's kick return role decreased after the Bills added free agent kick returner Andre Roberts, but he still found decent playing time on special teams and as a gadget player on offense. He caught 27 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown, in addition to rushing 8 times for 49 yards. McKenzie played a big role in helping the Bills defeat the Tennessee Titans in week 5, as his 46-yard reception helped set up the game-winning touchdown.[18]

For the Bills' final game of the 2019 season, against the Jets, he was pressed into service as a reserve cornerback, as the Bills were resting the starters and the backups suffered injuries.[19]

2020

On March 30, 2020, McKenzie re-signed with the Bills.[20]

On November 15, 2020, in a Week 10 game against the Arizona Cardinals, McKenzie threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Josh Allen on a trick play during the 32–30 loss. This was McKenzie's first career touchdown pass.[21][22] In the Bills' final game of the 2020 season against the Miami Dolphins, McKenzie had arguably his best game as a professional, catching six passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns.[23] He also returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown, his first career special teams score on his only punt return of the season.[24]

In the AFC Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs, McKenzie recorded one catch for a six-yard touchdown during the 38–24 loss.[25]

2021

On March 29, 2021, McKenzie signed a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the Bills.[26][27]

On August 26, 2021, McKenzie was fined $14,650 for violating the NFL's COVID-19 protocol.[28]

McKenzie became the primary kick returner in 2021, but was benched after fumbling a kickoff in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts.[29] Due to starting slot receiver Cole Beasley being diagnosed with COVID-19, McKenzie was utilized more in a week 16 game against the New England Patriots. He caught 11 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown as the Bills beat the Patriots 33–21.[30]

2022

On March 13, 2022, McKenzie signed a two year extension with the Buffalo Bills.[31]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Punt return Kick return Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2017 DEN 11 0 4 29 7.3 14 0 1 4 4.0 4 0 21 183 8.7 44 0 3 50 16.7 21 0 6 3
2018 DEN 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 2 13 6.5 11 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
BUF 7 1 18 179 9.9 23 0 10 66 6.6 15 2 14 87 6.2 23 0 12 237 19.8 33 0 2 1
2019 BUF 15 8 27 254 9.4 46 1 8 49 6.1 16 0 1 4 4.0 4 0 3 65 21.7 24 0 0 0
2020 BUF 16 7 30 282 9.4 46 5 10 9 0.9 14 0 1 84 84.0 84 1 2 32 16.0 27 0 0 0
2021 BUF 15 2 20 178 8.9 28 1 9 47 5.2 10 1 19 147 7.7 26 0 24 584 24.3 75 0 2 1
Career 65 18 99 922 9.3 46 7 38 175 4.6 16 3 58 518 8.9 84 1 44 968 22.0 75 0 10 5

Postseason

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Punt return Kick return Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2019 BUF 1 0 4 23 5.8 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020 BUF 3 0 3 14 4.7 7 1 2 9 4.5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021 BUF 2 1 4 48 12.0 19 0 6 44 7.3 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 57 11.4 22 0 0 0
Career 6 1 11 85 7.7 19 1 8 53 6.6 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 57 11.4 22 0 0 0

Business ventures

In 2020, McKenzie and his friends Mel Rodriguez and Chase McKenzie opened LaTraila Barbecue, a restaurant in Miami Lakes, Florida.[32]

References

  1. ^ "Isaiah McKenzie top prospect in shallow UGA NFL draft pool".
  2. ^ "Isaiah McKenzie Stats – Georgia". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Butt, Jason (May 1, 2017). "Could Isaiah McKenzie be the next Antonio Brown? An ESPN analyst thinks so". The Macon Telegraph. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  4. ^ "Isaiah McKenzie Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  5. ^ "2017 Draft Scout Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". draftscout.com. Retrieved May 4, 2022.
  6. ^ "Isaiah McKenzie 2017 NFL Draft Profile". insider.espn.com. Retrieved May 4, 2022.
  7. ^ Swanson, Ben (April 29, 2017). "Broncos trade up in fifth round, select WR Isaiah McKenzie". DenverBroncos.com. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  8. ^ "Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos – September 11th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  9. ^ "Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills – September 24th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  10. ^ "Isaiah McKenzie 2017 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  11. ^ DiLalla, Aric (September 10, 2018). "Broncos waive Isaiah McKenzie, make pair of practice-squad moves". DenverBroncos.com. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  12. ^ DiLalla, Aric (October 25, 2018). "Broncos promote WR Isaiah McKenzie to active roster". DenverBroncos.com. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  13. ^ DiLalla, Aric (November 2, 2018). "Broncos activate S Su'a Cravens from IR, promote WR River Cracraft to active roster". DenverBroncos.com. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  14. ^ Brown, Chris (November 5, 2018). "Bills awarded claim for receiver/returner Isaiah McKenzie". BuffaloBills.com.
  15. ^ Maiorana, Sal (November 28, 2018). "Bills' offense has been rejuvenated by young WRs Foster, McKenzie". Democrat & Chronicle. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  16. ^ "Bills' Isaiah McKenzie: Shows off rushing skills". RotoWire. CBS Sports. December 9, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  17. ^ "Isaiah McKenzie 2018 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  18. ^ Fetes, Daniel (October 11, 2019). "Ten most important plays so far this Bills season - BuffaloPlus.com". WHAM. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  19. ^ Pollock, Chuck (December 29, 2019). "Bills give Alexander the spotlight in likely final home game". Olean Times Herald. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  20. ^ Brown, Chris (March 24, 2020). "Isaiah McKenzie agrees to terms with Bills". BuffaloBills.com. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  21. ^ "Watch this: Bills' Josh Allen catches touchdown pass from Isaiah McKenzie". The Buffalo News. November 15, 2020. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  22. ^ "Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals – November 15th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  23. ^ Parrino, Matt (January 3, 2021). "Isaiah McKenzie predicted punt return TD to Josh Allen in breakout game". syracuse. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  24. ^ Louis-Jacques, Marcel (January 3, 2021). "Isaiah McKenzie's monster first half gives Bills big lead against Dolphins". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  25. ^ "AFC Championship – Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs – January 24th, 2021". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  26. ^ Bove, Matt (March 23, 2021). "Bills re-sign free agent WR Isaiah McKenzie". www.wkbw.com. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  27. ^ "2021 NFL Transactions: Signings – March". NFL.com. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  28. ^ Louis-Jacques, Marcel (August 26, 2021). "Buffalo Bills receivers Isaiah McKenzie, Cole Beasley fined for COVID-19 protocol violations". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 27, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  29. ^ "Bills returner Isaiah McKenzie handles benching well in win over Saints". Bills Wire. November 26, 2021. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  30. ^ Talbot, Ryan (December 26, 2021). "Isaiah McKenzie, aggressive Bills offense take back 1st in AFC East in 33-21 win over Patriots (report card)". syracuse. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  31. ^ Glab, Maddy (March 13, 2022). "Bills agree to terms with wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie". BuffaloBills.com. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  32. ^ Prusack, Heather (August 1, 2020). "Bills WR Isaiah McKenzie living out his dream in the food industry". News 4 Buffalo. Retrieved May 7, 2021.

External links

  • Isaiah McKenzie on Twitter Edit this at Wikidata
  • Buffalo Bills bio
  • Georgia Bulldogs bio
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