On Thursday, October 27, the Kansas City Chiefs went to the bargaining table with the New York Giants and walked away with wide receiver and 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney.
With Tyreek Hill traded to the Miami Dolphins during the offseason, and Mecole Hardman’s contract expiring this coming spring, it is no surprise that the Chiefs would make a move to try to strengthen their receiver corps with someone of similar skills.
So far in the first six games of the season, receivers such as Hardman, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have carried their weight with a good output of production. However, second-round rookie Skyy Moore hasn’t been a factor thus far with little opportunity for offensive touches. Now the move for Toney gives the Chiefs a potential boost with another playmaker who could be a welcome addition to this Chiefs team—if he can stay healthy, that is.
Toney spent his college career in the swamp, playing for the Florida Gators. For the first three seasons of his college career, he was more of a reserve player at running back, wide receiver, Wildcat QB and special teams, but his production saw a sharp increase during his senior season. In 2020, Toney became the leader of a potent Gators offense with 70 receptions, 984 yards (14.1 average), and 10 touchdowns. In 11 starts, he also contributed as a rusher with 19 carries, 161 yards (8.5 yards per carry), and 1 touchdown.
Toney was selected in the first round with the 20th overall pick by the New York Giants in the 2021 NFL Draft, and unfortunately, he has yet to match the success of his senior year at Florida. Some of the blame could certainly be shouldered by the Giants for possibly misusing him, but the injury bug must shoulder the rest.
Before the season could even begin, Toney was placed on the COVID-19 list during training camp, however, I don’t think that can necessarily be considered a typical football injury. He had the game of his young career against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5 of his rookie year, amassing 10 receptions for 189 yards. But Toney’s production would be short-lived, as he would miss the next four weeks with an oblique injury. Finally, on December 13th, he would find himself once again on the COVID-19 reserve list.
It is worth noting that while he only played in 10 games during his rookie season, Toney finished the season with the second-most receiving yards for the Giants.
Some might say that one season is too small a sample size to say that Toney has an “injury problem” since he missed playing time three times during the 2021 season and two of those occasions were COVID-related, which as I noted above is not what you would call a common football injury. However, weighing in at 193 lbs. and only standing 6 feet tall, his slight build has been pointed out as a potential risk for future injury. Of course, The other receiver on the team with what might be called a slight build is Hardman who weighs in at 187 lbs. and stands 5’10.
Injury concerns notwithstanding, this is a good trade (and a relatively risk-free trade) for the Chiefs. The Chiefs did not spend a bundle on Toney, nor did they trade any star players for him. He has proven during his senior year as a Gator, and during his time on the field as a Giant, that he has the potential to be a valuable commodity to a Chiefs team that is in need of yet another deep threat to compliment Smith-Schuster, Hardman, and Scantling.