Former Florida WR Kadarius Toney selected 20th overall by NY Giants in NFL Draft

Kadarius Toney
Photo credit: Randy Sartin, USA Today

Kadarius Toney has just become Florida Gator pass catcher number two to come off the board tonight.

With the 20th overall pick in the NFL Draft, the New York Giants chose Toney, the electric playmaker who the words “electric playmaker” doesn’t even come close to adequately describing. Kadarius Toney thus becomes the 55th Gator to ever be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, and the 358th Gator to be selected overall.

The selection of Toney comes a short while after tight end Kyle Pitts was selected by Atlanta.

Like Pitts, Toney is an absolute nightmare to try to defend against, albeit in a completely different way. Once viewed as a ridiculously explosive slot receiver but very raw in some other crucial aspects of the position, Toney came back for his senior season in 2020 and put it all together. After improving on his route running, vision as a runner and even as a blocker, Toney made the leap up from a widely assumed late round selection had he departed after 2019 to a first round choice.

Toney dazzled on the stat sheet in 2020, too. He racked up 984 yards worth of receptions on 70 catches. To boot, he accumulated 161 yards on the ground on just 19 rushes. Those stats were earned in eleven games, mind you, all against SEC opposition, which earned him Paul Hornung Award consideration for the most versatile player in college football.

Now for the part of this article that isn’t so fun to write.

Some “pundits” and “experts” seem to have thought it was cool to allude to “character concerns” during his time at Florida, which seems like an awfully weird way to cure the problem of boredom. But anyway: those “character concerns” consist of a verbal altercation that admittedly did not include great judgment, yet resulted in absolutely zero legal consequences for all involved three years ago, the fact that Toney is also a talented rapper, and the fact that Toney, as many Americans do, legally possesses a gun. That’s it. That’s the list. So rest assured, Giants fans, anybody who claims Toney has “character issues” fundamentally doesn’t understand what they’re talking about.

Instead, be grateful and appreciative that your team just added one of the most dynamic skill position players to ever come out of Florida, and in fact, college football as a whole, and a guy who every teammate of his will tell you makes his locker room better.

And as for you, Kadarius Toney? Go make millions. You were a joy to watch at Florida, and here’s hoping for a long and prosperous career at the highest level with Big Blue.