ATHENS — Isaiah McKenzie, who took a chance by leaving Georgia after his junior year, is headed to the Denver Broncos after they selected the receiver and special teams standout in the fifth round.
McKenzie declared for the draft after last season, in large part because it wasn’t guaranteed that he would be eligible for the fall because of an academic matter.
McKenzie was Georgia’s leading receiver last year as a junior, and also set the school record for punt return touchdowns. But his prospect status was diminished by his 5-foot-7 height.
Traded up to take WR Isaiah McKenzie from Georgia in the 5th. An electric returner & a productive offensive player. Gives us a dual threat.
— John Elway (@johnelway) April 29, 2017
He was the first and only Georgia player selected in the draft, the least amount of Georgia players selected in the draft since 1992, when none were picked. But two former Georgia players were picked this year: Lamar cornerback Brendan Langley in the third round and Louisville safety Josh Harvey-Clemons in the seventh round.
Five other Georgia juniors who probably would have been drafted also elected to return for their final years: Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Lorenzo Carter, Davin Bellamy and Dominick Sanders. And a sixth, defensive back Aaron Davis, also returned for his senior year and might have been picked.
The last time Georgia didn’t have a player selected in the first round was 2014, when tight end Arthur Lynch and quarterback Aaron Murray both lasted until the fifth round. That was also the last time the Bulldogs had fewer than three players selected. The Bulldogs only had two selected that year.
In fact, the first player drafted from a school in the state of Georgia was from Albany State, a Division II school. (The player was defensive lineman Grover Stewart, selected in the fourth round and 144th overall by the Indianapolis Colts.)
Other Georgia players who had been hoping to hear their name called and now likely will sign free-agent deals: Offensive linemen Greg Pyke, Tyler Catalina and Brandon Kublanow, and defensive backs Maurice Smith and Quincy Mauger.