After a slow start to the season, Giants rookie Kadarius Toney exploded against the Dallas Cowboys in Week Five. Toney recorded 189 receiving yards, caught 10 balls off of 13 targets and put up a yards per reception of 18.9. Putting up close to 200 yards is one hell of a way to announce you’re arrival in the NFL.
Coming out of college, Toney was largely regarded as a talented, yet limited player. There were expectations that the former Florida Gator would be utilised more as a gadget player or an offensive weapon rather than a fully refined starting wide receiver. Toney didn’t see consistent snaps as a wide receiver until his senior year in college where he put up 1145 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns.
Kadarius Tony analysis: The NFL’s next big offensive talent
Let’s take a look at what could well be the next big offensive talent in the NFL.
Toney’s game is clearly far more polished than we first thought as evidenced by his prowess running routes and executing the traits of an X or Z type receiver. Here we see the Giants execute a slot fade concept with Toney as the alert. Here the top receiver will run a hitch route, creating room for the slot receiver to run deep into the space.
Toney does a fantastic job of tracking the ball in the air, elevating over the top of the defender and coming down with his feet in bounds and making the catch.
Another example of Toney’s potency as a deep threat comes on this play.
Lined up at the bottom of the screen, one on one against DPOY nominee Trevon Diggs, Toney is going to run a deep out route off of play-action. Toney sends Diggs for a hotdog before making the catch and gaining some nice YAC for the 35-yard reception.
As well as a deep threat, Toney also possesses incredible skill with the ball in his hands. Here you see Toney running a hitch route out of bunch. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones misses the dig route that comes open across the middle of the field, instead opting to hit Toney who is surrounded by defenders.
Despite receiving somewhat of a hospital pass that was meant for minimal gain, Toney instinctively spins out the gang tackle and takes the ball a further 20 yards for what should have been a touchdown if not for a last-ditch tackle by Malik Hooker.
The Deebo Samuel comparisons are appropriate. With the ball in his hands, Toney runs like a running back. Through three games, Toney has racked up 168 yards after the catch. That’s more than George Kittle, Chase Edmonds and only one yard less than Tyreek Hill.
Toney’s talent with the ball in his hands is evidenced by the fact that, with Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones both out, the Giants called counter bash in the red zone with Toney out of the wildcat.
Toney makes the right read which should result in a touchdown if not for an incredible recovery and tackle from Micah Parsons. Other than this play being extremely fun, this shows that the Giants, whether out of sheer necessity or not, trust Toney and recognise his talents.
Toney sustained a minor ankle injury against the Cowboys, meaning his production for the next few weeks could be limited. However, the future is bright for the rookie if he can build upon this incredible performance. An attack of Barkley, Toney, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shephard and Evan Engram should pose a real threat for NFL defences.