When an NFL team drafts a player in the first round, it is like marrying someone. For better or for worse…and so it is now with the contractual union between Kadarius Toney and the New York Giants.
Pre-draft, I noticed two things when I evaluated Toney at the University of Florida. I noticed a young man who had a lot of talent, and I noticed a young man who was surrounded by a cloud of issues and distractions.
I stated in my pre-draft scouting report (click here to read) on Toney, “could fall into the second-round due to several serious concerns on and off the field.”
Sunday was the perfect snapshot of Kadarius Toney, 10 catches for 189 yards and then he turned around and punched a Dallas Cowboys’ player in the helmet and got himself ejected from the game.
I am going to go on record and say this now. This is not the last time we are going to see something outrageous happen with Kadarius Toney. In fact, the Giants have had issues with Toney all along, and he is only a rookie. These types of situations that start out like this tend to not to trend towards everyone living happily after.
This is the second time in less than a month Toney has had to issue a public apology.
This is also the second such article (click here to read) I have written about him in that same time period along the same lines.
This is why it is so important to do background work in scouting. Game film is only half the equation. I have heard of some teams doing extensive audits of prospects’ social media accounts. I have been told by a scouting director his team is looking for any gang-affiliations and/or drugs on social media posts. While Toney did not fall into those categories specifically, there was enough out there on the Internet that caused me to not even have him on my draft board.
So when I heard Toney hauled off and punched a Cowboys’ player like that, it did not surprise me in the slightest. In fact, if I was on a game-show, and the game-show host asked me, “A player on the Giants punched a player on the Dallas Cowboys, who do you think it was?”
My first guess would have been Kadarius Toney.
Now the Giants are stuck with a talented player who has become a very real problem. This is one of the pieces of their puzzle they now have to try to build around him as a high-profile influence they are stuck with in their organization.
This is not who the New York Giants are.
I have watched the Giants for 40-years and they have long been an upstanding and conservative traditional flagship organization in the NFL. The Giants have never been known as being undisciplined or a dirty team with loose-cannons. Yes, Lawrence Taylor (LT) was something, but he was not like Kadarius Toney. LT was pure passion and he played his heart out until the whistle blew – – and that was it.
It takes more than talent to win in the National Football League. If that were not the case, every team would win every game because every roster features many of the best athletes in the world. I am actually really surprised a team like the Giants, of all teams, would have taken Toney.
I believe he is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
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.