Denver Broncos 2017 fifth-round pick Isaiah McKenzie stepped up as the team’s top slot receiver with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders out…
Denver Broncos wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were not practicing as the team opened week three of OTAs, which provided a couple of opportunities.
First, it opened up the opportunity for everyone to get a glimpse of the future at the position.
Second, it gave young players a chance to step up and take some really important reps.
As head coach Vance Joseph put it, the youngsters exemplified maturity and professionalism with Thomas and Sanders attending to personal matters.
The focus naturally shifted from Thomas and Sanders to Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton, who took the outside receiver positions, but the slot was taken over by second-year player Isaiah McKenzie.
McKenzie is certainly in the doghouse for Broncos fans after his propensity for fumbling the football last season, specifically on punt returns.
Despite that, McKenzie is one of the most gifted athletes on the team with quick feet, deep speed, and playmaking ability.
The Broncos haven’t given up hope on McKenzie, and coach Joseph singled him out as doing a great job at practice on Monday.
McKenzie will be in a heated battle for the Broncos’ fifth and sixth wide receiver spots as well as for the punt returner position. We saw how much faith the Broncos had in him last year, sticking with him through some really bad decision making.
It was a poor rookie season for McKenzie in 2017, but he has a chance to bounce back and become an important piece of the offense and special teams now and into the future.