Could Kadarius Toney be New York Giants’ X-factor in 2022?

The New York Giants have been focused on regrouping this offseason under a new head coach and a new general manager, as the organization aims to bounce back from a 4-13 campaign last season.

The Giants are also battling to overcome a roughly 40% roster turnover, plus lingering injuries to key players, which has left New York lacking depth at certain positions, namely, wide receiver.

The Giants’ receiving corps is headlined by Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and second-year wideout Kadarius Toney, who Pro Football Focus recently named the Giants’ biggest X-factor for 2022:

“Wide receiver Kadarius Toney has had an eventful first year-plus in the NFL, including being at the center of trade rumors earlier this offseason that have since died down,” PFF wrote. “When he was on the field as a rookie last season, Toney looked like the dynamic playmaker the Giants drafted him in the first round to be. He was one of just 15 wide receivers in the league to average over 2 receiving yards per route run on at least 100 routes. The issue seems to be him staying on the field. Toney sat out OTAs following a minor arthroscopic surgery that he had on a knee this offseason.”

The Giants drafted the 23-year-old Florida product No. 20 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, and Toney had a turbulent first season in the league. 

In 10 games (four starts), he caught 39 passes for 420 yards — the second-most on the team behind only Golladay (521 yards) — on a 68.4% catch rate, averaging 10.8 yards per reception and 5.3 yards after the catch. What’s more, Toney earned 12 missed tackles forced during his rookie campaign.

It was rumored that he would be traded after New York spent its No. 43 pick of the 2022 NFL Draft on Kentucky receiver Wan’Dale Robinson, but newly minted GM Joe Schoen previously shut down those reports.

Following the 2021-22 season, Toney underwent knee surgery, which has led to his limited his participation in OTAs thus far this offseason.

However, if Toney can stay healthy in 2022, could he emerge as Daniel Jones’ go-to option? The quarterback will be eager to have all the help he can get.

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