I think it should be known before you read this article any further, that this article is not an indictment on the New York Giants first round pick. I do think Toney is a good receiver. I had him as the fourth best receiver in this draft behind the Jamarr Chase, Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith and I do think that he will grown into an eventual WR1 for Big Blue. This article is merely to highlight his value for the 2021 NFL season which as of now is minimal.
The main problem for Toney’s value is said team, the New York Giants.
For starters, the jury is still out on third-year Quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones has had an up and down start to his NFL career and now enters the year which many people consider the “put up or shut up” year. Jones showed modest improvement in his second season from the standpoint of taking care of the football but is still putting it in harms way too often. On top of that, his passing touchdowns numbers were cut in half (24 in ’19, 11 in ’20) He did miss a few games with injury but that kind of decline in production is mildly concerning from your starting quarterback.
Next, Toney joins a crowded receiving corp. He is not the only new receiver to be added to the Giants. Kenny Golladay, the pro bowl receiver from the Detroit Lions and the prize of this years free agent class figures to be the number one target to aid Jones production. The G-men also added longtime veteran Kyle Rudolph who figures to be a red zone option. Still on the roster are Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Evan Engram and first round Bengals miss John Ross who looks to revive his “bust-ish” career. Oh and some guy named Saquon Barkley, who averaged over 70 receptions in his first two years is the starting RB. He’s pretty good too.
If there is one thing Toney may have going for him, it’s that none of these players, Golladay and Saquon included, are unblemished when it comes to their health. Each of the skill players on the Giants roster have dealt with their own injuries that have kept them out for periods of time. Because of this, Toney could eventually challenge somewhere down the line for more playing time. But as of this writing, multiple sources say that Toney is exclusively playing with the second team offense. Throw all of that in with the growing pains of being a rookie receiver and that all adds up to nothing, as in nothing to suggest Toney makes a huge impact in year one.
In an earlier article highlighting my top 25 rookies for 2021, I had Toney as the 17th best rookie player in the NFL this year, in large part because of where he was drafted. Perhaps he can start his career on special teams make and work his way into a more consistent role but until then, Toney belongs on the waiver wire with no immediate impact on a suspect offense on the horizon.
2021 PROJECTIONS: 20-30 receptions, 250-300 yards, 1-2 Touchdowns
FANTASY DRAFT SPOT: Undrafted