As training camps began around the NFL, PFF named a ‘Secret Superstar’ for each team. Toney was the choice for the Giants. PFF’s Sam Monson wrote:
It’s difficult for a former first-round receiver to be a secret superstar, but that’s how far the narrative has shifted on Toney. When the Giants drafted Wan’Dale Robinson in the second round of the draft, many expected Toney to be traded away shortly thereafter. Toney’s rookie season was disjointed, but a dominant day against Dallas in Week 5 showed what he is capable of. He possesses rare movement skills and showed in that game he can win all over the field. Many have written him off after an underwhelming season, but the Giants’ leading receiver had 521 yards — such was the disaster of the passing game at large. With more opportunities coming Toney’s way this season, we could yet see impressive play from the second-year wideout.
Indeed it is difficult to see a 2021 first-round pick — especially one who garners as much attention as Toney does — being a ‘Secret Superstar.’
Could Toney, though, be headed for a breakout season after his confounding rookie season? That is entirely possible, especially in an offense that seems suited to his dynamic skillset.
CBS Sports recently wrote that Toney “will be viewed as one of the NFL’s most dynamic gadget-type weapons after his second season.”
ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan recently revealed that Toney worked with wide receivers coach Steph Brown during the offseason. Here is one of the encouraging things Ranaan tweeted:
Brown said Toney’s mindset was different. Wanted to get bigger, better, stronger. Make sure he’s doing everything to stay on the field.
Toney dazzled on Wednesday with a spectacular, twisting, one-handed touchdown catch with cornerback Aaron Robinson providing tight coverage.
Kadarius Toney with the TD grab over Aaron Robinson. Look out! pic.twitter.com/KPLVQrQ2Vo— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) July 27, 2022
To repeat something I wrote in Wednesday’s practice takeaways, Toney has already had a better and more productive training camp than he did in the full 2021 camp. Toney missed basically all of training camp with a hamstring injury, and I recall then-offensive coordinator Jason Garrett saying Toney had all of three preseason practices before Week 1.
The dazzling catch wasn’t the only one Toney made on Wednesday. He was often targeted by quarterback Daniel Jones as the Giants worked exclusively on red zone situations.
“KT’s been great. I wasn’t here last year or anything like that. But he’s done the rehab he’s needed to do. He’s been working hard in the meeting rooms,” head coach Brian Daboll said before practice. “Again, the plan – I’m not talking about injuries or what we did in the spring – but the plan was set in place. And he’s out here without a red jersey ready to practice.”
Wednesday’s practice was Toney’s first after being sidelined throughout the offseason following minor knee surgery. Daboll said there is no intent to manage Toney’s practice reps throughout the summer.
“I think you let him go out there and practice,” Daboll said. “And if we need to make modifications based on the training staff, but he’s good to go.”
Wednesday was an excellent start to Year 2 for Toney. If he carries that type of production into the regular season, there won’t be anything secret about the second-year wide receiver.