The Giants added another talented weapon to the offense in wide receiver Kadarius Toney. What responsibilities will his overall role entail?
Versatility is highly regarded in East Rutherford.
That specific group of players encompasses Kadarius Toney.
The versatility along with the athleticism and potential to assist in quarterback Daniel Jones‘ critical development are all reasons for why the Giants drafted the Florida wide receiver at No. 20 overall.
Toney is expected to bring a great deal of talent to this Big Blue offense, but what could his true role on the team entail?
No. 2 wideout; slot target
The Giants made a notable investment in Toney and utilized a prestigious opening-round pick on him.
However, the investment made in Kenny Golladay was far more significant, and the expectations are higher of the veteran receiver.
The Giants signed Golladay to a four-year, $72 million contract in March and are looking for him to be the team’s No. 1 wideout. He’s a true No. 1, something the Giants didn’t employ last year with Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Golden Tate leading the charge.
That leaves Toney to be a No. 2 receiver, which is totally fine for right now. It’s tough to provide a young rookie the responsibility of being the top guy at his position — why do you think some teams like to sit their first-round rookie quarterbacks before throwing them into the fire?
Of course, Toney isn’t going to be on the bench, but you understand what I’m saying (I hope).
Kadarius’ primary job as the No. 2 receiver should be manning the slot role, given his speed, elusiveness, and athleticism. I could see offensive coordinator Jason Garrett using Toney for slant routes, dig routes, as well as bubble screen-type plays. You must put the ball in his hands and get him out in space — the speed, footwork, and vision will subsequently do the rest.
Think of Toney as an Odell Beckham Jr. type — remember how the Giants used him when he was in East Rutherford? New York should be using Toney in the same fashion considering the similar qualities among the two.
Special teams too?
Toney’s talent is obvious; so is his versatility.
That being said, the Giants should absolutely look to maximize his potential, which could mean fielding him on special teams as well.
While Toney only returned 15 kicks and 13 punts in his four years with Florida, the Giants should at least give him a look as a return specialist in training camp — it wouldn’t hurt.
The job as a return specialist would likely be the only special teams role I’d recommend for the first-rounder. If you’re going to put him on the field, you should only be providing him scenarios in which the ball could potentially be in his hands.
The important job: Help DJ develop
The reason the Giants made a number of noteworthy offseason moves on the offensive side of the ball was so Jones could develop. The third-year quarterback needs to take that leap in 2021 to prove to the organization he’s the long-term answer under center.
The signing of Golladay was to help Jones.
The signing of John Ross was to help Jones.
The signing of Kyle Rudolph was to help Jones.
The drafting of Kadarius Toney was to help Jones.
DJ can’t do it all on his own — Toney (and others) must play a role in proving the Giants made the right decision during the 2019 draft.