There’s no doubting that NFL offensive coordinators and head coaches look across the league and covet what other teams have on their roster. Coaches want to have the same luxury of adding skilled players to their offense. It simply opens up things for other players or even opens up the playbook depending on the player’s skillset.
One of the main things that offensive-minded head coaches covet though is playmakers that can take the pressure off of their QBs. The ability to get the ball into a playmakers hands and let them pick up chunk plays on their own is something that every single play-caller in the NFL wants on their team.
There’s a player in this year’s draft that encompasses everything mentioned above. Kadarius Toney is a dynamic playmaker that should step onto an NFL field on day one and take the pressure off of whoever is throwing him the ball. He did the same thing for Kyle Trask this past season at Florida, and he’s going to become a cheat code for picking up easy yardage at the next level.
After minimal production in his previous three seasons, Toney emerged onto the scene in 2020 in a major way. From 2017-2019, Toney amassed only 606 total yards and two touchdowns. However, in 2020, he put up 984 total yards and 10 touchdowns. He was a threat at all three levels of the field, and he was constantly separating from defenders, regardless of who was guarding him.
Is Toney merely a gadget player at the next level, though? Or can he be a featured part of an NFL offense?
These questions are answered here in our scouting profile on Kadarius Toney:
Weight: 193 lbs.
Arms: 31 1/4
Hands: 9 1/4
40-Yard Dash: 4.41
Vertical Jump: 40
Broad Jump: 136
Bench: 9 Reps
Short Shuttle: 4.25
3-Cone Drill: 6.88
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Route Running (77): A superb athlete that emulates a poor man’s Tyreek Hill. Fantastic route-runner out of the slot and will win every single time if he’s lined up on a linebacker. Elite separator and is seemingly always open. Able to be utilized all over the formation as well.
Athleticism/Agility (81): Tremendous athlete and shows off his burst and agility repeatedly on tape. He’s still seemingly learning how to best utilize his gifted athleticism, too, as he hasn’t learned how to throttle down and accelerate back up again to bust angles. If he ever learns how to do that, NFL defenders won’t be able to touch him.
Hands (76): Good hands and able to reel in catches with ease. Natural receiver and uses his hands to soak in the pass rather than letting it hit his body.
Contested Catch Ability (73): Thrives as more of a catch and run specialist, so very few examples of being thrown passes in tight windows or deep downfield.
Run After Catch Ability (81): Should step into an NFL offense and immediately provide a spark with his RAC ability. Able to be utilized behind the line of scrimmage in pre-snap motion to pick up easy yardage or as a decoy due to his speed and acceleration with the ball in his hands.
Release (75): Good release off the line of scrimmage but rarely sees press coverage. Will be used more as a motion player pre-snap than anything else.
Deep Ball Tracking (72): Very few examples of deep ball tracking, which makes it hard to grade him in this area.
Speed (81): Great breakaway speed, and he’ll threaten NFL defenses from day one. Has the chance to step into a traditional slot role in an offense and soak up targets and create after the catch, but can also be used in a variety of different ways. If he lands with an innovative offensive coordinator, the sky’s the limit for the impact he could have in the NFL.
It’s been five months, still not sure how Kadarius Toney did this
– PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 18, 2021
#Florida WR Kadarius Toney –
– Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) March 24, 2021
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
Toney has the skillset that NFL teams are looking for, so it’s unlikely that we see him hanging around on the draft board for too long. The NFL seems to love him, so there’s a very good chance we see Toney off the board by the end of the 1st round.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
The Saints have a need at wide receiver now with Emmanuel Sanders gone. Sean Payton is an extremely creative offensive mind, and he’s going to want to get a player with Toney’s ability into his offense. With Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas demanding attention, Toney could make an immediate impact in this offense.
Mecole Hardman and Toney are nearly identical from a frame standpoint. Toney stands at 5’11, 190 lbs, while Hardman was 5’10, 187 lbs at the NFL Combine. Toney has a little bit more side-to-side burst than Hardman, but Hardman is most likely going to be faster in the 40-yard dash. They should be used very similarly in the NFL.