Isaiah McKenzie – WR
Isaiah McKenzie was a bit of a surprise last year for the Bills after being released by the Broncos. In seven games, he recorded 18 catches for 179 yards and contributed as a returner. But a solid second half of the season may not be enough to make the roster, as the Bills have been busy stocking Josh Allen‘s pantry with talented receivers.
The speedy will have to compete against Ray-Ray McCloud, Andre Roberts, Victor Bolden, Duke Williams, David Sills, and others to earn the fifth spot on the roster. Considering that Roberts is a lock to make the roster — as the Bills signed him in free agency after an All-Pro year as a returner, — he’s really fighting for the sixth spot alongside some promising talents.
McKenzie has an interesting skill set. He’s fast, elusive, and can tread yards after the catch, but that’s about it. Last year, he was used as a “gadget” player and returner on a team desperately needing people to catch passes. The Bills don’t need that heading into 2019, as Holmes will handle returning duties while free agent addition John Brown is a veteran “gadget play” ace, and more.
The Bills’ depth at wide receiver is still unknown, and McKenzie can claim one of those spots. But McCloud, Bolden, Williams, and Sills are intriguing players in their own right and have a much more complete game outside of speed and returning. For McKenzie to make the roster, we will need to see a progression in route-running, consistency, and versatility in training camp; that’s asking for a lot in one off-season.