Giants explain why they picked Kadarius Toney in 2021 NFL Draft

Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge treated image red background

The Giants made one of the biggest moves of draft night, trading back from the No. 11 pick to the No. 20 pick with the Chicago Bears, in exchange for a 2021 fifth-rounder, 2022 first-rounder and 2022 fourth-rounder.

With that 20th pick, the Giants selected Florida WR Kadarius Toney, solidifying their rebuild of the offense that started this offseason with the big signings of wide receivers Kenny Golladay and John Ross as well as TE Kyle Rudolph.

After their night was over, Giants GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge discussed their decisions and what went into ultimately trading back and selecting Toney.

“We made a trade back, it was too good an opportunity and too much value, and we felt very comfortable with where our board was,” Gettleman said over a Zoom call. “We felt comfortable with who would be there in that slot. …We’re very pleased we made the trade.

“As far as Kadarius, one of the offseason goals was to add weapons on offense and Kadarius is a good sized kid, he’s strong, he can run, he catches the ball well, and he’s a very tough kid, and he’s got return skills. So we were thrilled that he was there for us at that spot. …He was the next guy up for us.”

If you look at Toney’s career at Florida, you don’t really see Top 20 potential until his fourth and final season this past year, so there might be questions as to whether or not he’s a finished product that hit his ceiling in 2020, or if there’s more heights to reach.

But Judge believes that every pick in this draft isn’t “ready” just yet, and will use their rookie seasons to really see if they are worthy of playing in the NFL.

“Every pick in this draft is a projection,” Judge said. “There’s not a single player who is NFL ready, let’s not make that mistake. Everybody here needs development, and part of the evaluation is identifying how high the ceiling is.

“We’re very excited about adding him to our team. There’s a lot of things he can do, a lot of versatility. But like every rookie coming in here, they’ve got to earn what they get and we’re going to work them in multiple positions to find their true strengths. We can’t assume that just what we saw on college tape is the best fit for.”

The move gives the Giants a stacked receiving corps with Golladay, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard and now Toney, to go along with Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram and Rudolph.

The key, of course, remains Jones, who has shown flashes at points, but has also given cause for concern as well.

But Gettleman was very direct in how the team feels about Jones.

“We believe in Daniel.”

So with the roster on offense all but set, the Giants will look to capitalize on a surprisingly competitive 2020 season and see what damage they can do in the NFC East in 2021 and beyond.