Giants GM Dave Gettleman orchestrated a tremendous trade with the Chicago Bears, moving from Pick 11 back to Pick 20. With that pick, the Giants select WR Kadarius Toney from Florida.
Toney could prove to be the most versatile WR taken in this draft, but the haul of picks the Giants received in exchange for the 11th pick was exceptional in itself.
Night 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft played out as predicted by most of the mock draft experts only until Pick 7. QBs were taken with the top 3 picks. Then TE Kyle Pitts, two top receivers (Chase and Waddle) followed by OT Penei Sewell. At Pick 8, the draft went off script, with both Carolina and Denver taking the top CBs in the draft.
The surprise here was there was no trade back or a QB picked by either team. Instead, they literally took the Dallas Cowboys’ top two prospects off the board right in front of the Cowboys. Giants fans had to be excited and even giddy about this.
But then, the unspeakable happened.
Two division rivals (the Cowboys and Eagles) swapped picks 10 and 12, which allowed the Eagles to leap in front of the Giants to pick the 2020 Heisman Trophy Winner, WR DeVonta Smith from Alabama. Smith had been rumored to be coveted by the Giants.
The Giants had not traded down in a draft since 1986. GM Dave Gettleman had never traded down in any of his nine drafts as a GM.
The Giants’ position in this draft, coupled with the heavy need of other teams for QBs, made this draft a prime target for trade with any team behind them looking to grab any of the remaining top QBs. As we’ve come to expect from the Gettleman/Judge leadership team, they were prepared for any scenario.
Once Smith was off the board, the Giants looked to turn the 11th pick into the best available value. In this case, that best value was to trade down and find a trade partner, maybe a team still looking for a QB. Hello Chicago Bears! In exchange for the 11th pick, the Bears gave the Giants the 20th pick this year, their 5th round pick (#164 overall), plus their 2022 1st and 4th round picks.
Clearly, this was the best trade of the night by any team. The Giants added one more pick to this year’s draft, now totaling seven picks. Giants fans should be ecstatic with this move regardless of the draft pick.
Toney was the leading receiver on Florida this year, a huge statement considering all the gushing accolades bestowed on his teammate, TE Kyle Pitts. Toney had 70 receptions, 984 receiving yards, 10 receiving touchdowns in his senior year. But he also rushed the ball 19 times for an additional 161 yards and one more touchdown. Toney likens his play to Alvin Kamara, a surprising comparison considering Kamara is a running back.
Toney’s versatility is what makes the comparison believable. There is Joe Judge’s favorite word, “versatility.” Toney can be a valuable weapon in what looks to be a high-octane Giants’ offense this Fall.
According to Giants’ Director of College Scouting, Chris Pettit, the scouts met with Toney multiple times at the Senior Bowl in February, including a very late night interview that week.
Toney has impressed the team at every turn.
Toney projects to be a solid slot receiver in the NFL.
Featured Image: Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun/AP