Rookie Rundown: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida

Rookie Rundown: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida

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Rookie Rundown: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida

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Kadarius Toney was a dual-threat quarterback for his final two seasons of high school in Alabama and was recruited by most of the SEC. He opted for Florida over Alabama, knowing that his transition from high school to college would change his position to wide receiver.

Toney was active for eight games as a freshman and started two. He caught 15 passes for 152 yards in one and then started as a running back in the other when he ran for 120 yards on 14 rushes with one score. He played a reserve role as a sophomore and even played as a wildcat quarterback in some games. As a junior, he would only play for seven games after injuring his shoulder but again was used as a receiver, running back, and wildcat quarterback.

Toney was well served by returning for his senior season. He led the Gators with 70 catches for 984 yards and ten touchdowns. He also ran 19 times for 161 yards and returned 18 punts and kickoffs. He was voted first-team SEC as an all-purpose player and was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award for most versatile performer.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 193 pounds
40 time: 4.39 seconds

He enters the NFL draft with an intriguing set of talents that could fit into a number of different roles for his team. What he doesn’t have is a lengthy resume as a receiver. But he comes off a season that suggests he has a role as an NFL starter, particularly from the slot.

WR Kadarius Toney, Florida Stats

Year Games Catch Yards Avg. TD Runs Yards. TD Total Yards Total TDs
2017 8 15 152 10.1 0 14 120 1 272 1
2018 12 25 260 10.4 1 21 240 0 500 1
2019 7 10 194 19.4 1 12 59 0 253 1
2020 11 70 984 14.1 10 19 161 1 1145 11

Toney is expected to be no later than a second-round pick, with a high chance of going in the latter part of the first round. His background points at a player that can be used in almost any skill position. His special teams work should see him carve a role as a rookie in the NFL, and his receiving skills will likely show up in his first year. Throw in his ability to run and pass the ball as well, and Toney could be a speedy and deadly weapon in a creative, complex offense that can use him in multiple roles.

Pros

  • Explosive offensive playmaker
  • Speed makes him a threat to score on any play
  • One of the most versatile players in draft
  • Special teams returner
  • Inventive offensive coordinator’s dream
  • Physical runner that plays bigger than his size
  • Hasn’t found his ceiling as a receiver
  • Burst and fluidity landed him moniker of “human joystick”
  • Can play any position, but slot is ideal
  • Electric in open field

Cons

  • Still needs work on route running
  • Only started at wideout for one year
  • Needs to improve run blocking
  • Size likely keeps him as a slot receiver
  • Battled injuries at times

Fantasy outlook

Toney isn’t expected to become a No. 1 wideout for a team but could carve a significant role as a slot receiver, returner, and dangerous weapon on end-around runs, jet sweeps, reverses, and even the occasional wildcat quarterback play.

He presents an interesting package for an offense to use. In fantasy terms, his role may be les reliable than desired. While he should help his team with his broad set of skills, it may take time to see him evolve into a receiver with a heavy enough workload to merit a fantasy start. His team could use him as a returner at first and limit his plays from scrimmage.

He’ll also be more likely successful in an offense that uses the slot as much as the outside position, though most NFL teams rely on 3-man sets and Toney can potentially play outside if needed. He has the talents and physical attributes that should spell success at the NFL. Any use of him as a runner only boosts his fantasy value.

His lack of playing time as a pure receiver could see him drop into the second round and force teams to view him as more of a development player that can offer special teams and occasional work as a receiver to start his career.  A first-round selection will indicate that his team considers him as a definite rookie contributor.

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