Kadarius Toney - WR, Florida
By the numbers:
6'0", 193 pounds.
Started 11 games in 2020. 70 receptions for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns, in addition to 19 carries for 161 yards and a touchdown. One punt return touchdown.
Kadarius Toney is an explosive player who makes defenses pay for their mistakes. He's an elite-level athlete with excellent long speed, impressive agility, and acceleration that makes him difficult to cover one-on-one. He garners plenty of yards after the catch due to his athletic profile and breaks more tackles than a man of his size should.
While Toney is better suited to be a slot receiver at the next level, he has enough size to play on the perimeter as an "X" (X-WR). With that said, a lot of his value stems from being involved in screens, jet sweeps and/or reverses out of the slot. His strength should play well in the NFL, although he does his best work when given ample space to operate.
In addition to thriving as a receiver for the Gators in 2020, he has the aforementioned punt return touchdown on his resume and can also serve as a kickoff returner. This will appeal to teams in need of a Swiss Army knife of sorts, capable of doing a little bit of everything for them.
Toney's ceiling is remarkably high due to athleticism that simply cannot be taught, but his floor is also lower than some of the other top options in the 2021 receiver class. His route tree needs development and as he expands his toolbox a bit more to complement his skill set, that would make him a better overall receiver. Refinement is never guaranteed, though.
Contested catches downfield and 50/50 balls weren't a huge part of Toney's game in college, so the jury is still out as to whether or not he'll succeed in those situations moving forward. His opportunity to shine came later in his collegiate career, resulting in a smaller sample size than some other players. Toney's run blocking leaves something to be desired, although that's a minor concern as he transitions to the NFL.
How Toney fits with the Chiefs:
In the event that Sammy Watkins departs via free agency, Toney doesn't quite seem like a direct replacement at that X-WR spot. On the other hand, he would also be a tad bit redundant with Mecole Hardman spending plenty of time in the slot (and hopefully receiving more snaps in year three). Toney is a very fun player with traits that certainly fit what the Chiefs like to do, but a world in which he seamlessly slides into Andy Reid's offense is a tough one to imagine. It would require some work by both parties involved.
Toney is a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands and has the potential to do great things in the NFL. He represents all of the best things the Chiefs' "Legion of Zoom" stands for but needs to refine his route-running and footwork in order to be a complete receiver at the professional level. That may or may not come with more experience and for that reason, he grades out as a second-round pick.