The New York Giants drafted wide receiver (WR) Kadarius Toney in the first round of the NFL Draft this past spring, but I was not sold on him.
I gave him a second-round league grade (in terms of his ability), and Toney was not on my draft board. Click here to see my pre-draft scouting report.
Sure, Toney had the flashy 4.39 speed and he showed he was a threat to score every time he touched the ball, but I just could not warm up to him. Something felt off about Toney.
The Senior Bowl practices were the first big red-flag for me. I wrote, “Hands can be a concern at times. This showed up in the one-on-ones at the Senior Bowl practices. It was disappointing how he looked out there at a big football event. He looked out of sorts. He looked and played like he was distracted and not all there mentally.”
Character plays a role in the evaluating process. Film plays a huge role, but there were just too many red-flags surrounding Toney coming out. There’s an old saying in life, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” and there was just too much smoke when it came to Toney – – too much for my tastes had I been a general manager, in this past draft.
I checked the stats this season so far and not surprisingly Toney has had low production in the opening month of this season – – and won’t you know it, there are also a number of other off-field issues swirling around Toney’s head like the winds that swirl at the Meadowlands.
4 catches for 14 yards so far this season for Toney. Sounds like the numbers of an undrafted free agent, who is barely hanging on to a team’s fifth receiver spot.
Outside of that – – issues.
Issues that are big enough, they are the headlines of the New York Post, “Apologetic Kadarius Toney focused on figuring out Giants role.”
Figuring out his role?
There is nothing to figure out Kadarius. This is New York and this is the NFL. You are expected to make plays – – big plays.
“I feel pretty good in [my role] and where I’m at,” Toney said. “If y’all don’t see the progression going on by now, I guess y’all aren’t going to see it.
No Kadarius, we do not see the progression. That is what people in NFL circles call an excuse. Progression shows up on the stats sheet.
A laughing Toney went on to say, “I don’t really need justification from everybody about what I’m doing.” Actually, there again Kadarius you are wrong. You do need to justify what you are doing. You are taking almost $14 million dollars of Giants’ owner’s money. Fans are out there spending their hard-earned cash to buy tickets to come see you play.
According to footballguys.com, Toney’s snap count has been steadily increasing every week through the first three weeks (8%, 28%, 66%), but his production is not even on the radar. This has got to be a giant-sized concern for anybody associated with organization and for the team’s fans. Generally, when things start out shaky, there are not too many happy endings.
I want to circle back to the snap counts. In week #3 against the Atlanta Falcons Toney played in 66% of the offensive snaps and had 2 catches for 16 yards?
This is the biggest red flag of them all because it tells his story to date. It tells us that nobody trusts Toney on the New York Giants, not offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, not head coach Joe Judge, and sure as hell not quarterback Daniel Jones.
Toney has more stats off the field sending out cryptic messages and calling the media clowns supposedly. Toney was also said to be looking like he was “sulking on the sideline,” in the Washington game.
There is a real problem here. There is a problem with Toney’s production, the amount of money he is getting paid, his responses, especially his attitude in his responses (in the article), and the general overall disturbing theme that continues to surround and follow him. It is something that more than likely will not change either. Toney is distracted and buried on the team’s depth chart at receiver as a result. Toney has “bust” written all over him and I am not some media “clown,” who is saying that either. I was hired by the coach who won those Super Bowl trophies, that sit in the Giants’ headquarters and I convinced Joe Judge’s old boss to hire me in scouting.
I took a lot of heat for my pre-draft scouting report on Kadarius Toney, but so far it looks like I knew more than Dave Gettleman, the 0-3 Giants’ GM.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.