The first round of the NFL draft came and went on Thursday night. Many of the picks went as expected and there were a few surprises as well. One of those surprises was Dave Gettleman trading down for the first time in his career as general manager. The Giants traded down to number 20 in a swap with the Chicago Bears. The Bears used the pick on their next quarterback in Justin Fields. The Giants gained a first round pick next year and Kadarius Toney, a wide receiver out of Florida. The immediate reaction from fans was questionable, but a little more positive from experts around the league.
On Thursday, Urban Meyer said on the ESPN Draft broadcast that a player was taken before their selection at 25 that "broke our heart" to not be able to pick.
Today, he revealed that player was new Giants WR Kadarius Toney. Such a dynamic player.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 1, 2021
What does Kadarius Toney bring to the New York Giants?
Kadarius Toney is a very explosive player who can play on the outside or out of the slot. Toney is considered by many to be the best route runner in this draft. He can get in and out of breaks better than most and create a lot of separation. The real danger is when he creates that separation and gets the ball in his hands. One of his strongest traits is his ability to force missed tackles and create yards after the catch. Part of what makes him so successful in this area is his ability to go get the ball when targeted. He attacks the ball instead of waiting for the pass to reach him. When he gets in the open field, Toney has the ability to change gears and simply out run his pursuers. Even though he does not have the best catch radius, Toney does have excellent balance through contact.
One name that I often see analysts comparing Toney to is Alvin Kamara. That does not mean Toney will turn into the type of player that Alvin Kamara is but they have similar skill sets. They both have a strong ability to stay balanced after contact and make defenders miss.
Despite all of these strengths, Toney does possess some weaknesses as well. Like I mentioned above, Toney does not have the best catch radius. He has smaller hands at 9 1/4 inches (48th percentile). In addition, he has 31.25 inch arms (31st percentile). Toney is small overall as he is only 6’0″ and 193 pounds. That raises some questions of how well he will be able to handle NFL cornerbacks. Because of his size, Toney had some trouble with injuries while at Florida. Through his first three seasons in Gainesville, Toney only was on the field for 510 total snaps. That will be something that Toney will have to work through early on in his NFL career. At least until he figures out how to play at the NFL level.
Another player that I have heard Toney be compared to is former Gator, Percy Harvin. The two Gators possess similar skill sets. Talent wise, I would love for Toney to be like Percy Harvin. Harvin is one of the greatest “what ifs?” in recent memory. He possessed all of the talent in the world but suffered multiple concussions that ended his NFL career. Toney is only slightly bigger than Harvin so that may be a bit concerning.
Overall, I am excited about this pick. The Giants offense really has no excuse to not be dynamic. With Kenny Golladay, Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, and now Kadarius Toney, this offense better put up numbers. If Daniel Jones does not take a big step forward this year, the Giants may use their two first round picks next year to try and land their next franchise quarterback. The offense should be explosive. The defense should be improved as well with the addition of Adoree Jackson and Azeez Ojulari. Joe Judge is putting his mark on this franchise and the Giants are moving in an excellent direction. I expect the Giants to be competing for a playoff spot and finish above .500. Joe Judge and Dave Gettleman have had themselves an excellent offseason, now it is time to see results.
-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)
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