ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the 49ers, among a couple of other teams, have a pre-draft meeting scheduled with Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney. The former Gator is projected to go in the late first round.
It’s easy to understand why the 49ers would be interested in a jitterbug like Toney. You put the ball in his hands, and he makes something special happen:
Kardarius Toney would be fun in any offense, but I like him going to the Jets/Cardinals/Panthers/Jags the most. He’s gonna make you look silly in the open field pic.twitter.com/CgevCYgGzY— KP (@KP_Show) January 22, 2021
As a route runner, Toney leaves a lot to be desired. I’d be skeptical about a senior who needed to be generated touches. When he has the ball, it looks like former Chiefs wideout Dante Hall. The consistency isn’t there for Toney, though.
If you take a wideout on Day 1, there shouldn’t be questions about playing like a first-rounder on each snap. When we recorded the podcast with former scouts who now work for Sports Info Solutions, they said Toney is almost too athletic for his own good. Playing under control was an issue.
Florida used Toney like a chess piece, and I imagine that’d be the same in San Francisco. Jet sweeps, screens, and quick passes were Toney’s game in college. Kyle Shanahan could get him lined up on a linebacker, where Toney often won those matchups in college.
In a wide-open offense like the Niners’, the appeal for a talent like Toney is there. He’s a natural playmaker who plays fast and is dynamic with the ball in his hands. On his pro day, Toney jumped 11’4” in the broad jump, which is pretty silly. At 5’11 and 193 pounds, Toney was also in the 90-percentiles in the 40(4.38) and the vertical jump (39.5).
The most intriguing part about the 49ers still meeting with prospects in this range to me is that they’re considering moving back into the first round. They have enough selections in the NFL Draft to package picks to move up. If a player like Toney fits the bill, don’t be surprised if San Francisco is selecting twice on the first day of the draft.