Name: Kalif Raymond
Height: 5’9" Weight: 160 lbs
Age: 22 Experience: 2nd
College: Holy Cross
There was initially some excitement last seasons when Kalif Raymond emerged as a punt and kick return threat for the Denver Broncos. After spending much of the season on the practice squad, the Broncos activated him late in the season after the New York Jets tried to steal him away from the practice squad.
Heading into this offseason, he will primarily be battling Broncos rookie draft pick Isaiah McKenzie who is of similar size and will be looking to fill in the same role that Raymond is looking to fill.
He is a speedy returner who can be a big play threat. After Jordan Norwood muffed several punts in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Raymond got onto the active roster and remained there for the final four games of the 2016 season.
As a punt returner, Raymond was quite effective with 11 returns for 111 yards. As a kick returner, he had a monster game against the Chiefs in Week 16 on the road.
Raymond is likely only a return man, so if the Broncos keep him on the roster he won’t likely see the field much as an actual wide receiver. This makes him an luxury the Broncos may not be willing to keep, especially if McKenzie shows he can play on the offense as well as special teams.
Raymond loves playing for Denver.
“The organization here is the best thing that you can ask for,'' Raymond said. "Along with that, the brotherhood and the family that you have here is one cohesive unit. No matter how I can contribute, to be a part of this team, is an experience and I couldn’t ask for anything more. It was an easy decision. I slept well that night. I was very happy with the decision I made.”
Raymond must outplay rookie McKenzie in every facet of their game. He must be the superior return man and he must show he can play a big role in some special offensive plays designed for them.
I’m not going to predict one way or the other on who will win out, but McKenzie’s draft status does give him a leg up in this competition as the Broncos will want to give their new rookie every chance to make the roster.
Will Raymond beat out McKenzie for a roster spot in 2017?
This poll is closed