2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report


Kadarius Toney

February 4, 2021 1:00 PM EST


Kadarius Toney Scouting Report picture

School: Florida

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 194

Eligibility: SR

Uniform: #1

Position: WR


Evaluated by: Brad Kelly
BradleyMKelly@yahoo.com
February 4, 2021

Prospect Overview


Kadarius Toney is a native of Mobile, Alabama, and had a decorated career as a high school quarterback that saw him accumulate 100 total touchdowns during his junior and senior seasons. Upon arriving at the University of Florida, Toney filled a swiss army knife type of role for the Gators. As a freshman, Toney would start games at running back and wide receiver, took snaps as the Wildcat quarterback, and was involved in the return game. He would battle injuries during his freshman and junior seasons, but flashed in a complimentary role when healthy as a sophomore. Despite a deep and talented wide receiver room in 2018, Toney turned 25 receptions in 260 yards and 21 rushes into 240 yards (11.4 yards per carry).


Kadarius Toney Scouting Report image 1

Toney's senior season was a revelation as he became a full-time starter for the first time. Doing the majority of his work from the slot, he produced 70 receptions for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns in 11 games. He added 161 rushing yards and a touchdown on 19 carries (8.5), 155 yards on 7 kick returns (22.1), another 139 yards and a touchdown on 11 punt returns (12.6), and even completed a pass for 12 yards.

Toney was named First-Team All-SEC as a senior, and participated in the Senior Bowl back in his hometown of Mobile.

Positives

Toney has incredible balance and shiftiness with the ball in his hands. He's commonly been referred to as a human joystick, as his ability to explode in any direction and make defenders look silly is second-to-none. There aren't many players in the history of the game that move in a similar fashion. Toney has excellent knee drive through defenders and can bounce of contact because of it. With his elusiveness, he can sift his way through traffic or get himself out of daunting situations involving multiple defenders.


Kadarius Toney Scouting Report image 2

Toney's explosiveness translates into his route running. He'll be able to use a crossover-style move at the top of the route, leaving defensive backs on their heels and allowing him to separate. With his flexibility, he can really drop his hips and break on direct angles. He possesses the necessary acceleration when given a free release, able to stretch the defense from the slot or maintain his speed through horizontal cuts. Toney could be a deep threat and legitimate three-level route runner in the NFL, as long as teams make a point to adjust their scheme in order to assure that he's not facing press coverage.

Toney has natural ball skills when tracking the deep ball, able to fully extend towards passes over his shoulder and is constantly looking the ball into his hands.

Areas for Improvement

Toney struggled handling contact in a variety of ways. During his route stems, he will too often get ridden out of his route. Additionally, he fails to win in contested situations far too often. He won’t fully extend to the ball when he's crowded, and doesn't have the strength to rip the ball into his body through a defenders hands. These issues limit any projection for Toney to play along the boundary in the NFL, because they're unlikely to improve for a senior who has short arms. Toney is ineffective as a blocker, failing to remain engaged with defensive backs or be physical.

Toney's athletic gifts can occasionally lead to him attempting to make too much happen. He'll try to add unnecessary moves into his routes or with the ball in his hands, resulting in a loss of yardage or a slower route break. This could be fixed with more live reps, as injuries and depth at wide receiver limited snaps for a few years of his collegiate career.


Kadarius Toney Scouting Report image 3

Draft Stock

With his performance during his senior season, Kadarius Toney has positioned himself as a potential first-round pick, fitting into the second-tier of wide receiver prospects among the class. He will provide a unique skill-set for an NFL team, making him a weapon that can be maximized by highlighting his traits. They would be smart to get Toney involved on short-to-intermediate passes, screens, and in the running game. He can stretch defenses with motions or his vertical route running, and in the return game. His ability to provide explosive plays will be sought after for a team searching for a dynamic #2 option for their offense.

Toney only had 3 drops during his time at Florida, but struggled catching the ball despite being open during the Senior Bowl practices. It’s possible that this turns into a concern and pushes Toney behind other wide receiver prospects, but it’s unlikely that he falls out of the top 50 selections.

Kadarius Toney projects as a natural slot receiver in the NFL, and one who could be used as a versatile weapon. The team that selects him will get the most out of his skill-set if they commit to using Toney in the return game, use him to stretch the defense with motions, get the ball quickly in his hands through hand-offs or screens and on short-to-intermediate routes. His ability to break drives open after the catch will be valuable and sought after, making him a likely top-50 selection.


Kadarius Toney Scouting Report image 4

Player Comparison

Toney's size (5-11, 189) and skill-set are reminiscent of a young Randall Cobb (5-10, 191) during his time with the Green Bay Packers. During his prime, Cobb was a dynamic threat after the catch, and was able to separate throughout the entire route tree because of his athletic gifts.

His best attributes as a route runner were his sudden breaks and did his best work over the middle of the field. On top of that, Cobb was an explosive threat as a punt and kick returner. Without having the elite 4.3s straight-line speed (Cobb ran 4.46s in the forty-yard dash) he was elusive with his quickness, balance and field vision, which is similar to the way that Toney operates with the ball in his hands.

Games Evaluated

  • Florida State (2019)
  • South Carolina (2020)
  • Georgia (2020)
  • Missouri (2020
  • Texas A&M (2020)
  • Vanderbilt (2020)
  • Alabama (2020)

Notes from Film

  • Speed, field vision and balance to become one of the best punt returners in the NFL
  • Will be an effective threat on “Jet” sweeps and other horizontal stretch plays
  • Able to pull off unique route breaks, changing direction in a flash
  • With his inability to win while contested, separation is often a requirement for Toney to catch the ball
  • Can be properly patient with the ball in his hands, able to stay behind his blockers and knifing through small creases once they present themselves
  • There is trick play potential with his background as a quarterback


Scouting Video Courtesy of League Ready


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