Kadarius Toney - WR - Florida
The rookie profile of Kadarius Toney was mostly a utility player for the University of Florida until his senior year when he exploded onto the season. After his impressive performance in 2020, he immediately started receiving first-round NFL draft buzz. He has been a hot topic for many analysts throughout the offseason. Many wonder how exactly he will impact an NFL team, as a true wide receiver, on special teams, or as a gadget player.
Team: New York Giants
Height: 6′ 0″
Weight: 193 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.39
3-cone drill: 6.88
20-yard shuttle: 4.25
Vertical Jump: 39.5″
Broad Jump: 136″
Bench Press: 9
|College DOM||College YPR||College Target %||Breakout Age|
Toney received playing time immediately as a true freshman. As a four-star recruit coming out of Alabama, a lot was expected from him. He had almost as many carries as receptions his first year and accumulated almost 275 yards and a touchdown. After his freshman year, Florida decided to bring in new head coach Dan Mullen. Unfortunately, Mullen had Feleipe Franks at QB and he could never get the offense going the first year and a half. Finally, Trask took the reigns from Franks and the offense started to pick up. Even though the offense improved, Toney was still firmly behind Van Jefferson, Freddie Swain, Kyle Pitts, and a few other names.
Going into his senior season, a few Florida wide receivers left in the draft, but Toney was able to jump the remaining players on the depth chart and emerge as the wide receiver one. Toney put on display his electric quickness, insane body control, and top-tier separation ability. He accumulated over 1000 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns as the clear second option in the Gator’s offense when Pitts was on the field. He accrued most of his production through the air as a true wide receiver, but still supplied versatility and the ability to contribute as a gadget player. His senior season got him First-team All-SEC honors.
Toney was able to work all levels of the field and was uber versatile for his offense. As the Flordia quarterback Trask thrived, so did Toney and this lent to both players getting significant draft buzz following the conclusion of the 2020 season. Despite the late breakout age and below-average analytics in terms of college production, Toney tested very well. He ran a 4.39 40 yard dash and tested well in other areas as well. This all translated to scoring above the 60 percentile in Speed Score and Agility score, plus 96th percentile in Burst Score (per playerprofiler).
Toney’s best attribute is his ability to combine his quickness and body control. This combination allows him to start and stop on a dime which contributes to his ability to separate and make defenders miss. With great acceleration and the ability to change direction with ease, he created a lot of separation within his routes and get defenders off balance. He can be elusive in the open field with solid acceleration as demonstrated on quick passes and kick returns. Additionally, Toney showed great physicality when creating yards after the catch. He consistently broke tackles and showed good contact balance to stay on his feet after a hit.
With above-average breakaway speed, once he makes defenders miss or gets into the open field, he can rack up a lot of yards in a short amount of time. For a somewhat smaller player standing at 5’11” and 193 lbs, he provides a great catch radius for his quarterback. He showed good extension on plays on the sideline or over the middle of the field.
Even though Toney has this amazing body control and quickness, he can get in his own way at times. There are many instances where he is moving too fast and will lose his balance or start to trip over himself. Again, despite his quickness, he was slow getting off the line of scrimmage, generally winning in separation only within his routes and not at the line. Outside of his pure athletic ability, he didn’t show much technique in his route running to create separation. Occasionally he would use techniques to gain leverage within his route or manipulate his defender, but these were rare sightings in his film.
Toney’s catch radius unfortunately did not translate into winning more contested catches. Even if he was wide open or created plenty of separation, there were quite a few body catches or unnecessarily bobbled catches. Potentially he was getting ahead of himself and turning upfield too quickly, but that can lead to more dropped passes. When the ball wasn’t going Toney’s way, it was quite obvious as he would occasionally take plays off and not give as much effort as coaches would like to see. Finally, blocking was an issue for Toney. His size doesn’t lend him any favors here as he shows decent effort, but still allows defenders by after initial contact.
Post Draft Analysis
New York Giants: Round 1, Pick 20
Kadarius Toney received first-round draft capital, thanks to the New York Giants trading back and taking him at pick 20. This pick could prove extremely useful for the Giants as Toney can impact the game in many different facets. He will be an immediate contributor on special teams, can take handoffs out of the backfield, fill in as a slot receiver, and many other ways. The Giants will have to work with him to manufacture touches in the open field. He can be electric with the ball in his hands and provide a spark for that Giant’s offense.
The Giants have clearly prioritized bolstering the offense and providing Daniel Jones with weapons. With the offseason addition of Kenny Golladay and returning wide receivers Darius Slayton and Sterling Sherpard still on the team, it’s hard to see Toney garnering significant playing time his rookie year. Toney will most likely be relegated back to a gadget player role getting manufactured touches and filling in as a slot receiver on occasion or if Shepard misses any time.
Fantasy managers can’t rely on gadget players like Toney to produce consistent fantasy points for their team, especially in redraft formats. In dynasty, Toney could be worth the gamble as he does provide high-end upside with his skillset and received Day 1 draft capital. He could potentially take over the slot role during his rookie year if Shepard goes down with injury again or is beat out for the job. Shepard does have an out in his contract following the 2021 season. But still, Toney is still locked in behind Golladay for the foreseeable future and Slayton is still on his rookie contract. Daniel Jones has yet to prove he can support a fantasy-friendly offense, much less two fantasy-relevant wide receivers. If fantasy managers do draft Toney, don’t expect immediate production.