Scouting report on Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney

Zach Abolverdi
The Gainesville Sun

Heading into his senior season, Kadarius Toney was considered a gadget player who had yet to develop as a receiver. 

He changed the narrative in 2020, accounting for more than 1,000 yards of offense and becoming Florida’s first receiver to get selected in the first round since Percy Harvin (2009).

Toney was picked 20th overall by the New York Giants in the 2021 NFL draft. He and tight end Kyle Pitts are the first opening-round picks for the Gators in five years (Keanu Neal and Vernon Hargreaves III) and the first two offensive players since 2010 (Maurkice Pouncey and Tim Tebow). 

More:First Kyle Pitts, then what? Where will these five Florida Gators land in this week's NFL draft?

More:SEC Championship: Kadarius Toney answers for Gators vs. Crimson Tide

Toney scored 11 touchdowns last year (one rushing) and led the team in receiving yards (984) and receptions (70), doubling his catch total from the past two seasons combined. 

Here’s what he will bring to the Giants offense. 

American Team wide receiver Kadarius Toney of Florida (1) runs during the American Team practice for the NCAA Senior Bowl college football game in Mobile, Ala. Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Kadarius Toney Positives

Toney is an elite slot receiver with his elusiveness, speed and route-running ability. He ran a sub 4.4 at Florida’s Pro Day, with NFL scouts clocking him at 4.39 officially. He also impressed with his numbers in the broad jump (11-4), vertical jump (39.5) and three-cone drill (6.88 seconds). Toney consistently gets open, rarely drops passes and makes a killing off jerk routes, with NFL Media's Lance Zierlein calling his inside-pivot whip route “unguardable.” Toney is also a physical, tough runner who’s difficult to bring down with his acceleration, change of direction and open-field vision. Zierlen credited Toney for battling through injury against LSU and making several plays in the game, finishing with season-highs in catches (nine), receiving yards (184) and rushing yards (56). He posted 100-yard receiving games in his final three outings and four of his last five.

Kadarius Toney Concerns

Despite his effort in the regular season finale, Toney’s injury history will be monitored after he missed nine total games in 2017 and 2019. The latter injury was never disclosed publicly. He only had one season of high-level production as a result, catching just 10 passes two years ago. Although Toney has mastered some routes, he’s far from a finished product. He can be more creative and consistent as a route runner, with Zierlen noting that Toney has too much wasted motion in and out of breaks and his route speed looks turned down at times. Zierlen adds that Toney can also play with better strength against tight man at the top of his routes. Speed had also been a concern for Toney, but he put that to bed with his 40 time at Pro Day. 

Final thoughts on Kadarius Toney

Not only is Toney Florida’s best receiver production-wise in the last decade, but he’s one of the program’s biggest success stories. His commitment to his craft during a pandemic-impacted offseason helped Toney blossom as a senior, and that work ethic will serve him well at the next level. The former high school quarterback isn’t done developing at wideout and refining his route-running, but he possesses the quickness, cutting ability and receiving skills to play right away in the slot and as a punt returner.