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Sunday, May 09, 2021

Kadarius Toney hears name called, finds new home in NFL Draft

Toney joins the New York Giants after he was selected 20th in Thursday night’s first round.

<p>Receiver Kadarius Toney, pictured against Miami in 2019, was drafted 20th overall in the NFL Draft Thursday night and is now a member of the New York Giants.</p>

Receiver Kadarius Toney, pictured against Miami in 2019, was drafted 20th overall in the NFL Draft Thursday night and is now a member of the New York Giants.

The Gators’ human joystick earned a new logo for his helmet Thursday night.

Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney heads to New York after the Giants drafted the speedster 20th overall Thursday night. He was the fourth receiver drafted, behind LSU's Ja'Marr Chase and Alabama's Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith.

Toney, the first Gators wide receiver drafted in the opening round since Percy Harvin in 2009, broke out and flew up draft boards his senior season. In a shortened, 11-game schedule against SEC opponents, Toney hauled in 70 catches and 984 yards, both of which paced the Gators. He reached the end zone 12 times, 10 through the air, plus a rushing and punt return touchdown apiece.

The Alabama native closed the season strong, with four 100-yard performances in his final five games in a Florida uniform. Between his senior night against LSU and the SEC Championship against Alabama, Toney amassed 22 total touches, 406 yards from scrimmage and a pair of scores.

The Giants wide receiver room received an overhaul this offseason, and Toney doesn't stop the trend. He'll work in around other pass-catchers Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shephard and Darius Slayton. With star running back Saquon Barkley back and healthy for 2021, Toney looks to further the development of quarterback Daniel Jones.

Toney’s senior season stood out so much in part because of his eye-opening, yet statistically unremarkable first three years in Florida. Despite wowing Gators fans with his jukes and cuts, Toney totaled just 60 catches, 606 receiving yards and just two touchdowns through the air.

Toney slotted 39th on the Pro Football Focus Big Board and 32nd on ESPN’s Todd McShay’s Final Big Board, the seventh and sixth receiver, respectively.

Contact Ryan Haley at rhaley@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @ryan_dhaley

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Ryan Haley

Ryan Haley is a second-year journalism major with a sports & media specialization from Jacksonville, Florida. He grew up playing a bunch of different sports before settling on golf, following Rory McIlroy and all Philadelphia sports teams. He also loves all things fiction, reading, watching shows and movies and talking about whatever current story or character is in his head.


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