Things change quickly in the NFL—that’s for certain. Just a few months into the “behind the scenes” rebuild currently underway in New York, a rumored move of last year’s first-rounder has many around the league on high alert as we close in on draft day. The 20th overall pick last fall, wideout Kadarius Toney, when healthy, looked like one of the most explosive wideouts the league had to offer. With the ball in his hands, Toney—as he was at Florida—was nothing short of magical, as his short-area quickness, electric speed in the open field, and wiggle within confined space were must-watch TV on each of his 39 catches. However, with overall limited availability in just 10 games played (four starts) and a new regime in place, the foundation has yet to be laid by new general manager Joe Schoen, and Toney could find himself on the outside looking in before his career ever was presented the chance to shine in the New York spotlight.
It happens around the league each and every season. A lack of success comes with a vast array of changes both within the hashes and within the front office. For the Giants, eight of the last nine seasons have showcased sub-.500 football to fans and changes are 100% warranted if Schoen and Brian Daboll eye second contracts in their new home.
A look within New York’s roster provides further clarity and a move—if Schoen is for real—that could allow the Giants to further bolster their draft ammo with two top-10 selections in their back pocket later this week. After signing Kenny Golladay as their prized free-agent acquisition last spring to boost a room touting Sterling Shephard and Darius Slayton, trading Toney for an asset to potentially use on someone Schoen sees as a better fit or a high-impact player at a different position could be the ideal move if Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka don’t see Toney meshing with quarterback Daniel Jones—or if they just flat out don’t want him on their football team. Add in the addition of Richie James this spring, a pass-catcher with some juice in his own right, and you begin to excavate the potential return on investment for a player Schoen and Daboll had no say in as a day one pick in 2021.
On the flip side, and considering both Daboll (Buffalo) and Kafka’s (Kansas City) coaching background, Toney could be the chess piece the Giants’ offense has desperately needed over the last few campaigns. Short-statured talents like Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley, Isaiah McKenzie have had success in those regimes. A talent like Toney to insert on the outside not only as a security blanket for Jones but as a maneuverable weapon that teams must gameplan for each and every week would open up space for players like Golladay and Shepard—and fewer bodies in the box to counter the ground game of Saquon Barkley.
With a little more than 72 hours until the commissioner officially opens up the 2022 NFL Draft, everything should remain on the table if you are New York. The continuation of doing the same thing over and over again but expecting change remains the definition of insanity, however, with proven leaders determined to demonstrate their worth in one of the harshest media markets sports has to offer within a franchise desperate for success, Schoen and Daboll aren’t in place to patch friendships. If the shoe doesn’t fit, well… you know the rest.
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