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Kadarius Toney

Scouting Notes: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

Senior| 5’11” 193 lbs | Mobile, AL

 

Speedy and explosive playmaking threat with a below average catch radius who uses his quickness to create separation in open space

 

Overview:

Kadarius Toney is a true senior who plays Wide Receiver for the Florida Gators’ spread offense. He normally plays in the slot but occasionally lines up outside. He also doubles as a returner on special teams. So far, he has appeared in 31 games, including 2020, totaling 57 receptions, 751 yards (13.2 YPC), and 8 receiving touchdowns (6 in 2020). Before missing the second half of the season due to injury last year, he finished with 10 receptions and 194 yards (19.4 YPC) with 1 TD. Toney came to Florida as a high school QB and is still learning the nuances of the receiver position.

Strengths:

– Playmaking threat every time he touches the ball
– Electric play speed that can separate from defenders on deep routes and after the catch
– Creates separation using sudden stops prior to making his cut, making the defender flat-footed and then using his acceleration to pass him
– Elusive ball-carrier who is capable of making guys miss in open space. Shows calculated decision-making with his arsenal of moves against incoming defenders
– Quiet-footed when running crossing routes against zone coverage. Can get between the LBs and Safeties under the radar
– Able to track and run under deep throws. Can correct overthrown balls with his speed
– Elusive ball carrier and slippery in open space that can make defenders miss tackles. Difficult to get him down on the first attempt
– Above average contact balance as he does not fall on first contact

Areas to improve:

– Has a smaller catch radius and must improve on hauling in catchable throws that land outside of his frame
– Tends to get too cute when trying to create separation. Can mess up the timing between him and the QB when he makes moves before the cut
– Is not a natural hands catcher down the field. Will trap the ball against his body which can limit his RAC yardage downfield 
– Watches the play instead of blocking a defender on some plays
– His release against physical press is still unknown

Injury concerns:

– Shoulder (2019) – 6 Games Missed
–  Shoulder (2017) – 2 Games Missed

Projection:

Kadarius Toney’s 2020 season is special up to this point. Only having 1 touchdown in each of his 2018 and 2019 seasons, Toney has 6 through 2020 at this point in time. Toney is more than just a speedy decoy, though he may not break through on an NFL depth chart right away. His speed and big-play ability in the open-space certainly gives him an opportunity to be a return specialist, but how will his frame and physicality transfer to the next tier of competition? His natural hand catching ability is troubling, especially if he has to adjust to make a grab outside of his frame, making quarterback accuracy more necessary than normal when throwing to him. His 2021 draft stock is surely rising as he projected as a late Day 3/UDFA before the season started. Teams that do not have many playmaking threats at their disposal would be the best landing spot for him. Now that he is healthy and seeing more opportunities to make a splash, he is now looking at hearing his name called earlier and possibly sneaking into Day 2 territory if production continues for the remainder of the 2020 season. By the start of 2020, he should be a depth body that can (and should) contribute as a returner in the Special Teams area of the game.

What to watch in 2020:

Currently, Kadarius Toney is putting on a playmaking clinic for the Gators this year. He’s answering questions about his full potential when healthy. He is creating separation on his cuts and giving Kyle Trask throwing windows downfield. He is showing off his contact balance and RAC ability on screens and quick passes. At this point, it’s important to see if his stats regress to end the season. Is he as involved in the gameplan for the Gators down the stretch? If not, is it because teams are actively focusing on shutting him down or is it because the season is starting to catch up to his mind and body and he is starting to slow down as December draws near?