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Welcome to the Giants, Kadarius Toney.


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I forgot to make one of these for the kid.


So what if I told you there was a wide receiver who was rising in the draft rankings: One who initially looked to be a mid-Round Two pick but since his Pro Day has started cracking the first round in many mock drafts? What if I told you this wide receiver (a relatively unknown prospect before the 2020 season) had the feet of Christian McCaffery, the downfield separation abilities of Tyreek Hill and the field vision of a young Le’Veon Bell? Is that a receiver that might pique your interest?

So who is this wide receiver of destiny, this transcendent pass-catcher with maxed-out game sliders on Madden, with 100 attributes across the board, including QB accuracy? Before 2020,  Kadarius Toney had brought in just two touchdowns for the Florida Gators in three seasons. Unable to separate from the pack on the Gators depth chart, Toney entered the 2020 season with a lot of question marks. After all, he had only started playing wide receiver once he arrived in Gainesville, Florida and had dealt with a handful of injuries since starting college.

But with a chance to see meaningful snaps in 2020, combined with a competent quarterback and a lot of perseverance, Toney was able to show NFL scouts what he could do on the field. With Toney’s Pro Day now behind him, we have a better understanding of how he measures up versus the other receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Background (2017-2019)

The Toney story starts in Eight Mile, Alabama, where he started as a dual-threat quarterback at Blount High School. About eight miles northwest of Mobile, Alabama, Toney thrived as both a passing and running quarterback, with 6,498 passing yards and 69 touchdowns thru two seasons. On the ground, Toney ran from 1,790 yards and 31 touchdowns in the same time period, according to his Florida Gators bio.

Despite coming out of high school as a three-star recruit, Toney fielded plenty of offers from the Southeastern Conference, including Alabama and South Carolina, but chose to go out of state and play for the Gators in Gainesville. What role he would play in college was unclear, however, as he was labeled an “athlete” during his recruitment period. Which meant athletic departments believed he had the skills and physical attributes to play several different positions on the football field….just not the one he played predominately in high school. Ranked as the 20th best “athlete” coming out of Alabama in 2017 (according to 247 Sports), it was unclear what position the Gators would have Toney play.

His first season in 2017 was marred by injuries and a lackluster quarterback/coaching pair at Florida. Despite this, he still found ways to play a variety of roles throughout eight games. Toney played as a running back, wide receiver and even took snaps as a wildcat quarterback during the season. His debut came during a spring game, the ignominiously named Orange and Blue Game, where Toney played merely a handful of snaps. Despite this, he showed off impressive play-making abilities, breaking free from defenders for big runs, leading the offense with 74-rushing yards and a passing touchdown off a play-action boot pass. Despite only practicing a handful of times with the team before the game, Toney flashed potential for a fanbase desperate for an effective offense.

The 2018 season saw even more mixed-use, playing as both a wide receiver, punt returner and wildcat quarterback in 12 games. 2019 became somewhat of a lost season for Toney, as he missed six games due to an injury. He still saw the field in seven games but with a solid corp of wide receivers ahead of him on the depth chart, Toney was hard-pressed to find time in the rotation. But even in a season as bleak as 2019 Toney still found ways to shine, including two 40-plus yard receptions and a 66-yard touchdown catch. While not a productive season by any stretch of the imagination, Toney still found ways to impress during his limited snaps.

Then came the 2020 season. Click next below to read about Toney’s 2020 season, including the context that allowed him to make such a drastic leap forward in production.

Toney in 2020

Without any injuries to slow him down during the offseason, Toney got to see the field a lot more in 2020, playing in every game except the Cotton Bowl. A game which he opted out of to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. To say that Toney improved upon his previous three seasons at Florida would be an understatement: Toney blew all his previous seasons out of the water, leading the team in multiple categories, second only to tight end Kyle Pitts in total touchdowns. How did this happen?

With the accession of quarterback Kyle Trask to starting quarterback duties halfway through the 2019 season, the Gators suddenly had a legitimate passing quarterback on the field. Since 2012, most Gators quarterbacks have hovered (on average) somewhere around 2,000 passing yards per season. In 2020, Trask had 4,283 passing yards, throwing 43 touchdowns to just eight interceptions.

For some context, a good way to measure whether a team has a quality passing game is to look at average yards for the passing game versus the running game. In 2017, the Gators offense (on average) passed for 179 yards and rushed for 156 yards per game. In 2018, the split was exactly 50/50, with the pass and rushing game averaging 213 yards per game. In 2019 (the first season Trask took over starting duties), the passing game jumped to 300 yards per game while rushing yards dropped to 130 yards per game. And in 2020, the season Trask and Toney started every regular-season game together, the passing game jumped to an average of 378 yards per game while the running game averaged 131 yards per game (all stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com).

No matter how you slice it, Trask, Pitts and Toney helped usher in a new era for the Gators as a legitimate passing offense in the SEC. This, combined with Toney’s injury-free season and seniority on the depth chart, allowed him to see a massive jump in both statistical production and on-field performance. To call Toney a one-year wonder (as some have suggested) would be a bit unfair, as it’s impossible to know how well Toney would have done in his first three seasons, had he not faced injuries and an average passer lining up under center.

Toney helped the Gators get to an 8-2 regular-season record last season, leading the team in receptions (70), receiving yards (984 yards) and yards from scrimmage (1,145). In fact, his closest rival on the receiving end was tight end Kyle Pitts, who edged out Toney in touchdowns (12 touchdowns for Pitts versus 11 for Toney) and average yards per reception (17.9 for Pitts versus 14.1 for Toney). Need we remind you that Pitts is considered the best playmaking offensive pass catcher in the 2021 NFL Draft and is likely to get drafted in the top ten this April?

Regardless of who was the more important receiving option last season, it is indisputable that Toney saw an astronomical jump in stats. But it was the way the Gators used Toney that is interesting. Rather than just giving him one role to succeed in, Toney was used in a variety of ways, as both a runner, receiver and even as a passer on trick plays. Click next below for a thorough film review of Toney’s on-field performance during the 2020 season.

Conclusion: In the 2021 NFL Draft, it was hard to find a slot receiver who could bend and change direction as well as Toney did, which will give him a distinct advantage against other pass catchers. The latter half of the first round looks to have plenty of slot receivers getting drafted, at least according to most media Big Boards. Toney definitely is a receiver who can win at all levels of the field as a receiver and has the skills NFL teams will be looking for. It’s possible one team will fall in love with Toney’s potential and draft him in the first round. Especially when you consider the teams drafting late in the first round won’t necessarily need Toney to carry an offense in Year One. If his injury history isn’t liable to be an issue going forward, one of the 32-NFL franchises will draft him early.


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By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 1-2
NFL Comparison
Harry Douglas
Slot talent who competes like a player bigger than his listed size. Toney has battled injuries, which helped cap his production until the 2020 season, when it finally clicked for the entire offense. His routes can look like one-on-one isolation basketball moves at times, but he has the ability to make instant cuts and break his routes off sharply. He could become a much more creative and consistent route runner in due time. He's an atypical NFL slot in some ways and is likely to do his best work in a scheme that allows him plenty of run-after-catch opportunities. He'll need more polish but should contribute right away as a receiver and punt returner.
  • Access to early acceleration to uncover.
  • Joints like rubber bands for instant change of direction.
  • Has potential to run complex first- and second-level routes.
  • Can run an inside-pivot whip route that is unguardable.
  • Plus value in quick game and as gadget option.
  • Competed through injury and made play after play against LSU.
  • Over-the-shoulder ball-tracking talent.
  • Makes catches outside his frame.
  • Very good open-field vision for run after catch.
  • Strong legs with ability to wiggle and elude or break the tackle.
  • More physical than expected with ball in his hands.
  • Will not half-step as a run finisher, so buckle up.
  • Can step right in as punt returner.
  • Only one season of high-level production.
  • Battled injuries and missed chunks of action in both 2017 and '19.
  • Route speed looks turned down at times.
  • Route inefficiencies will need to be corrected.
  • Too much freestyling and wasted motion in and out of breaks.
  • Can play with better strength against tight man at the top of the route.
  • Might have issues handling contested catch duties underneath.
  • More quick than speedy.
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Full Report

Florida receiver Kadarius Toney is an undersized but explosive receiving prospect with the versatility to play a number of roles at the NFL level.

Toney possesses great quickness and agility, as well as very good long speed and explosive acceleration. He lined up across the Florida formation, playing out of the slot, at wide receiver, and out of the backfield as a running back. He was also frequently asked to go into motion, both from one alignment to another as well as in jet motion.

Toney has a solid release off the line of scrimmage, getting into his routes with a minimum of wasted motion. He also does a good job of using his speed to his advantage on more vertical routes. Toney is capable of running past defenders who are late in opening their hips, or not using his full speed early in routes and accelerating later to catch defenders off guard. Toney shows solid ball skills, tracking the ball well through the air, extending to maximize his catch radius, and catching the ball with soft hands.

Toney runs a reasonably diverse route tree, catching passes in the short, intermediate, and deep areas of the field, and shows a willingness to go over the middle.

Toney has enough versatility to allow the offense to get creative in getting him the ball. He is dangerous in space, making screen passes a viable option for big plays. He is also capable of taking hand-offs as a running back or running with the ball off of jet motion.

Toney only recently became a full-time receiver. The bulk of his career production came in the 2020 season after the departure of Van Jefferson to the NFL in the 2020 NFL Draft. Toney improved over the course of the 2020 season, but his relative lack of polish still shows. His routes can be imprecise and rounded despite his agility, and he can jump unnecessarily at times when catching the ball.

Toney’s relative lack of size can also show up when blocking, fighting through contact, or making contested catches. He shows good competitive toughness in those situations but can still lose out to bigger defenders.

Overall Grade: 7.8 - This prospect possesses rare athleticism as well as good versatility. However inexperience at the position means development is still in order.


Kadarius Toney projects best as an offensive weapon in an offense which blends West Coast and spread concepts.

He has the speed and ball skills to be a legitimate threat down the field, as well as the ability to turn short gains into big plays on quick passes. Creative offensive coordinators should be able to make good use of his versatility and background as a gadget player as well. His athleticism is threatening enough that jet motion or toss plays should always be respected, which could help add misdirection to an offense. Toney can be lined up all over the offensive formation, which should help offensive coordinators come up with ways to get him the ball, as well as attack weak points in opposing defenses.

Toney will still need to work with his wide receivers coach to help hone his craft as a receiver. He showed solid improvement over his senior season, but he will need more work before he can reliably win with his route running. Offenses will want to work Toney in from the start, but they might need to protect him a bit early on in his rookie campaign. That said, he should produce his fair share of highlight reel plays.



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3 minutes ago, Pdouble said:

Last night on nfl network they were comparing how he gets out of breaks and gets separation to Ochocinco.   

I also saw someone call him Percy Harvin without the migraines.  

85 + Harvin is a good way to put it. 

A lot of talk about this being the first step to showing Shep or Slayton the door, but I don't think Toney replicates either of those guys, it's more like he brings a skill set that wasn't previously on the team, except for Barkley.

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1 hour ago, CrazedDogs said:

85 + Harvin is a good way to put it. 

A lot of talk about this being the first step to showing Shep or Slayton the door, but I don't think Toney replicates either of those guys, it's more like he brings a skill set that wasn't previously on the team, except for Barkley.

I think Shepard’s injuries and contract might be the first step to him leaving unfortunately.   I like him. 


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6 minutes ago, Pdouble said:

I think Shepard’s injuries and contract might be the first step to him leaving unfortunately.   I like him. 


I hope Shepard doesn't go anywhere, let's just keep him healthy and his cap number reasonable. I feel like he had a light go on last season, he has those veteran eyes now. 

All the better to have Toney for that jet sweep stuff, let's save Shepard for when its 3rd and 7 and we need a receiver to pick the same read as the QB on a two way break. 

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13 minutes ago, CrazedDogs said:

I hope Shepard doesn't go anywhere, let's just keep him healthy and his cap number reasonable. I feel like he had a light go on last season, he has those veteran eyes now. 

All the better to have Toney for that jet sweep stuff, let's save Shepard for when its 3rd and 7 and we need a receiver to pick the same read as the QB on a two way break. 


I agree.  I like Shepard. 

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1 hour ago, CrazedDogs said:

Harvin with more burst, nor pretense of being a RB.

Reggie Bush isn't a bad comp either. I know, he was a RB, but miscast in my view. 


Yeah, plus Percy Harvin also couldn't be relied on for the 8-12 yard intermediate routes that move the chains, but I feel Toney should be good there.

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