The New York Giants opened some eyes on Thursday night for a multitude of reasons. For starters, general manager Dave Gettleman traded down for the first time in his nine years of heading a draft. Secondly, once they got on the clock, they opted for wide receiver Kadarius Toney with the No. 20 pick, a player rarely linked to the Giants.
While some have questioned the value in comparison to draft slot — Bleacher Report’s Connor Rogers projected the Florida product as an early second-round talent — don’t you dare toss Colts legend, Reggie Wayne, into that category.
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Reggie Wayne: Kadarius Toney is a ‘Human Joystick’
During B/R’s NFL Draft Live Show on Thursday, Wayne boasted about the type of talent the Giants landed in the first round, gushing over Daniel Jones’ newest weapon.
“I absolutely love this pick. Kadarius Toney reminds me of the former Florida Gator that wore No. 1, Percy Harvin,” Wayne said. “He can do everything. They call him the joker, that’s his nickname. This guy is a human joystick. Aquib talked about having that stick in the ground, that’s what this guy does. Running back, slot, out wide, punt return, kick return, he is the guy that can do it all.”
Toney’s abilities with the ball in his hands are well documented. The 22-year-old forced 44 missed tackles and recorded 60 first downs on 111 touches over his final two years in Gainsville, per PFF. However, while the quick-twitched athlete may tantalize with his stop-and-go ability, Wayne took time to laud the wideout for his toughness.
“He’s a little undersized, but man he has speed. And by far, by far guys, he was the toughest wide receiver in this draft for me. One guy is not going to bring him down, I’m just going to tell you that right now. He may be small in structure (6-foot, 193 pounds), but he plays like he’s 230 (lbs.). No wall is in front of him, he’s going to run through it. This guy is special. I knew he was going to be a first-rounder.”
Joe Judge Talks Toney Pick
A quick glimpse at his highlight film and it’s easy to see why Wayne and Giants faithful are so eager to see Toney take the field. With that said, head coach Joe Judge — as he typically does — was quick to temper expectations for his new wide receiver while speaking to reporters on Thursday.
“Look, every pick in this draft is a projection. There’s not a single player who is NFL ready,” Judge said. “Let’s not make that mistake. Everybody here needs development and part of the evaluation is identifying how high their ceiling is. We’re excited about adding him to our team. There’s a lot of things he can do and has 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 multiple positions to find their strengths. We can’t assume what we saw on college tape is the best fit for them.”
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