Teams not enamored with size at the wide receiver position in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft should take a closer look at Kadarius Toney. The former Florida standout may be diminutive but that didn't stop him from consistently making plays whenever he had the ball in his hands. In the right system, Toney could develop into one of the NFL's most productive slot receivers.
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Kadarius Toney Draft Profile
Toney simply moves differently from most other receivers. He has the compact build of a running back, which allows him to get in and out of his cuts without having to gear down at all. He consistently creates easy separation. He’s also a dangerous threat with the ball in his hands; along with an innate change-of-direction ability, he has the feel to set up would-be tacklers and force them to swing and miss. Toney also has outstanding contact balance that allows him to run through arm tackles. His competitiveness shines through when he’s called upon to block as well; he’ll mix it up inside despite being a bit undersized. He showed improved feel as a route-runner during his senior year and could be on the verge of becoming a more complete receiver.
While there were promising signs of growth and development last season, Toney still profiles more as an “offensive weapon” than a pure receiver. He lined up primarily inside and ran a fairly limited route tree at Florida and has a small catch radius. In terms of measurables, he’s quicker than he is fast; he runs well, but he gets caught from behind a little more often than you’d like.
Toney has some limitations, but he also has Cole Beasley-like change-of-direction ability and is incredibly slippery after the catch. He has a chance to become one of the league’s best slot receivers.
Final Grade: 1st/2nd round
(Top photo by Tim Casey, courtesy of floridagators.com)