Things got no better once the regular season rolled around, as Toney was slow to get moving. He was underutilized over the first few weeks of the season before flashes of his potential finally showed themselves in Week 4 and Week 5.
In particular, Toney shined in a Week 5 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, hauling in 10 receptions for 189 yards.
Unfortunately, injury issues again crept up on Toney and he’s been unable to recreate that production since. He’s amassed under 50 total yards in each of his previous three games, and had just one target in a Week 9 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.
Despite all of that, Toney has graded out well courtesy of Pro Football Focus and is among the highest-graded first-round rookies in the NFL.
PICK NO. 20: WR KADARIUS TONEY, NEW YORK GIANTS
Overall Rookie Grade: 72.9 (Rank: 6/22)
Week 9 Grade: 56.0
Toney seemed to be back to square one for the Giants this week against the Raiders, with his game looking a lot like the first few weeks of the season when he was earning plenty of playing time but failing to see targets. His lone look went for nine yards, as he spent almost his entire time in the slot serving as little more than a decoy. The Giants had him with the ball in his hands throwing on a trick pass but have forgotten how dangerous he was when they just fed him targets as a receiver.
To be fair, the Giants haven’t forgotten how dangerous Toney can be, they just haven’t been able to utilize him due to injury. He was dealing with a thumb injury against the Raiders, which had been sustained the week prior when his hand got stepped on (leading to a significant gash).
Only eight first-round rookies have a higher overall grade than Toney and two of those happen to be wide receivers: DeVonta Smith (75.4) and Jaylen Waddle (73.4).
The margins are minimal and if Toney can find health over the second half of the season, expect his grade (and his production) to boon.