The New York Giants look to rebound from their 6-10 season last year. After the defense started to come together last season, eyes then pointed to the offense. Finishing second to last in points per game with a bottom-five passing offense isn’t going to cut it in the NFL. That’s why the Giants added Kenny Golladay’s dynamic catch ability in the offseason. Focusing on their offensive woes in the NFL Draft, the Giants selected wide receiver, Kadarius Toney with their first selection. As a result, we will look at Toney’s role and how he can affect the Giant’s offense.
At first, drafting Toney felt like a reach at number 20 overall. But even Urban Meyer was highly interested in drafting Toney with the Jacksonville Jaguar’s 25th overall pick. Following the doubt of the pick, I went on to watch Toney. And saw what he could bring to a crowded wide receiver room. In detail, Toney was effective when given handoffs, showing the ability to win versus man coverage, and creating big plays when his route was run in space.
Toney’s role as a weapon versus man coverage
Toney’s speed and agility can be seen in every play on film. University of Florida Head Coach Dan Mullen used Toney at every receiver position and featured him out of the backfield. For example, Toney is shown doing an out route as a running back against Lousiana State University. Noticeably he’s able to stop on a dime and gain almost 20 yards after the catch while making a defender miss.
His speed on the go route can easily go for a touchdown against man coverage at any given point in the game. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will have to be more aggressive now that Giants have Toney and Golladay. Both of them are able to make big plays where Golladays’ is more at the point of attack when catching and Toneys’ is the ability to make a big play in space.
First Toney is able to make the defender fall off the sean route. Then he shows his ability to separate against man coverage on the juke route. This leads to my next point in how Toney’s role for the Giants should mainly feature him running his routes in space. But Toney’s ability to defeat man is a way to land the starting slot receiver job.
Toney could be featured at multiple receiver positions. However, his limited route running ability will hinder him at the next level. Everyone in the NFL is bigger, faster, and stronger so Toney won’t have it easy. Though he will be able to win versus man coverage it’s up to Garrett to put him in position.
Both of these plays show Toney working from the slot, where he is able to blow past both of the nickel corners. You can’t coach speed and Toney has plenty of it. On the second play, he beats his defender and out leverages the free safety for a huge gain.
Toney’s role of running routes in space
Speaking of space I have to explain the field vs the boundary. The field is the wide side of the field and the boundary is the short side of the field. In the first play, Toney runs a deep-crosser to the boundary which can kill zone defense. Secondly, it shows Toney going into motion then running a corner route to the field. If the quarterback had the arm talent or guts he could’ve hit Toney along the sideline.
Daniel Jones has been given countless opportunities to succeed and that includes Gettleman bolstering the receiving core. It’s no question if it is a make or break year for Jones. In hopes of Saquan Barkley returning to 100%, the Giants weaponry is set.
Jason Garrett has known to be conservative with his playcalling since his days with the Dallas Cowboys. Toney’s straight-line speed is perfect for a tunnel screen if the blocks are there. Giving Toney the ball in space creates the opportunity for him to make a defender miss and more. With the threat of Toney on the receiver screen, it could open up other receivers on similar concepts.
Here is another crosser route from the field to the boundary. Garrett putting Toney in space is superlative for his success as a rookie in the upcoming NFL season. The Giant’s receiver room also houses Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard. But Shepard has missed four-plus games in three of the last four seasons. Adding Toney not only opens competition but strengthens the receiving core with good depth.
Toney’s role when given handoffs
— Xavier Dixon (@GOOBVILLE) May 5, 2021
Lastly, the element of Kadarius Toney running the football. Toney could be given carries in a similar fashion that Cordalle Patterson and Ty Mongomery were used. Again, having such a crowded receiver room lets him attack the defense in a different way other than catching. In the clips above, Toney ran inside and outside zone along with a couple of jet sweep plays.
Giving Toney handoffs can open up his home run ability and keep the defense honest. Making things easier for Jones should be Garrett’s main focus. Having him play RB shouldn’t cause a stir because he only needs about two carries per game. Patrick Grahm has established a new force in the NFL on defense.
Now it’s up to the offense to step for the New York Giants to have a chance at the playoffs. The division was so bad last year that they earned the nickname NFC Least. Each team in the division notably made good moves to make their team better. Playing in the NFL isn’t easy it’s a win-now league. The question ‘was Kadarius Toney the right pick?’ will loom if he isn’t impactful to the offense in 2021.