Coming from the humidity-laden University of Georgia, Broncos’ fifth-round pick Isaiah McKenzie is still learning to play at altitude. But for the man who loves special teams, altitude cannot hinder one of his greatest strengths: Speed.

Les Shapiro and Eric Goodman of Afternoon Drive on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 caught up with McKenzie to discuss the benefits of speed at altitude.

“When I come to any team or I go to any level, I feel like I’m just as fast as the fastest guy,” McKenzie said. “I thought since it’s high altitude that I’ll run faster – since the ball travels farther, I think I would run faster – so I think it’s working out for me.”

McKenzie is the fastest player the Broncos drafted, running a 4.42 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Those numbers were backed up when McKenzie started working out with the Broncos as his speed has already turned the heads of teammates and coaches.

“A lot of guys [noticed my speed] – the DBs, the receivers, the coaches – they see the speed every day,” McKenzie said. “I don’t have any height, so I gotta’ run fast. I know I might be one of the fastest guys on the team, so I’m gonna’ continue playing fast and do the best job I can.”

Measuring 5 feet, 7 inches, McKenzie uses his speed to combat any shortcomings stemming from his smaller frame. During his time at Georgia, McKenzie had five punt return touchdowns and one kickoff return touchdown. Still, playing in the altitude of Denver is vastly different than the humidity of Athens. When asked if altitude or humidity is more difficult to play in, McKenzie did not hesitate.

“I’m going to go with suffocating altitude,” McKenzie said. “I’m out of breath every day. And I’m used to just running around and getting tired at the end of practice, but I’m getting tired in the middle of practice, so it’s kind of different. I’ve got to work on working out at altitude. I’ll get better at it.”

Listen to the full interview with McKenzie, including his thoughts on the return man competition, in the podcast below.

Sorry – this audio content is no longer available.

Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.