With the No. 20 pick in the 2021 NFL draft the Giants select Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney….
Kadarius Toney Career Statistics
Toney is a jack of all trades wideout as the only wide receiver in this draft class to account for over 10% of his team’s receiving yardage, receptions, touchdowns, rushing yardage, and yards from scrimmage in 2020. He also averaged 21.6 yards per kickoff return and 11.3 yards per punt return over his collegiate career.
Over his past two seasons, Toney produced 44 missed tackles and 60 first downs on just 111 touches per Pro Football Focus.
At his Pro Day, Toney helped his cause, coming out as a 75th percentile athlete on the strength of an impressive score in the 98th percentile with an 11’4″ broad jump paired with a 39.5-inch vertical.
Limited to just 510 snaps through three seasons at Florida due to injuries and not having a true role in the offense, Toney turned in a 70-984-10 line receiving in 2020 to go along with 19-161-1 on the ground. Toney only had one 100-yard receiving game through eight games this past season, but then saved his best for last, going over 100 yards in each of the final three games, including massive 9-182-1 and 8-153-1 games versus LSU and Alabama to close the season.
Those big performances gave a glimpse of the upside Toney has and the potential for him to step in being a manufactured touch player, but he still takes some projection. At 5’11” and 193 pounds, Toney relied on 67% of his career receptions to come within the line of scrimmage and his average depth of target was just 7.7 yards in 2020.
Toney joins a Giants roster that ranked tied for last in the NFL in touchdown passes (12), 28th in yards per passing play (5.4) and 29th in yards per completion (9.4). The Giants made the biggest free-agent signing at wide receiver in free agency, securing Kenny Golladay as their future lead wideout and they weren’t done there.
This is a bit of a crowded room for 2021 as Toney joins Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton to go along with Evan Engram and a returning Saquon Barkley.
We know Golladay is the alpha here. Shepard signed an extension through 2023 last offseason. Shepard has averaged 5.7 and 5.5 receptions per game the past two seasons, but just 10.1 and 9.9 yards per reception on those grabs. After scoring eight times as a rookie in 2016, Shepard has not topped four touchdowns in any of the past four seasons. Slayton also still has two seasons remaining on his rookie contract. After 48 catches for 740 yards as a rookie, Slayton came back and caught 50 passes for 751 yards in 2020. Averaging 15.4 and 15.0 yards per catch, the 24-year-old wideout had three or fewer catches in 12 of 16 games.
What this is, however, is the Giants attempting to give Daniel Jones as much as possible. Jones enters this third season after a sophomore struggle in 2020. Jones managed just 11 touchdown passes after 24 as a rookie. After a 5.2% touchdown rate as a rookie, Jones posted just a 2.5% rate in 2020 and threw 8.6 touchdown passes below his expectation, which trailed only Teddy Bridgewater and Cam Newton. While Jones’s touchdown rate was suppressed from his rookie season, his yards per attempt (6.6) and completion rate (62.5%) were right on par with his rookie campaign.
Early 2021 Kadarius Toney Projection: 78 targets, 50 receptions, 545 yards, 4 TD, 21 carries, 128 yards, 0 TD