After Kansas City traded Tyreek Hill in 2022 and lost JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency this offseason, is Kadarius Toney poised to become its next top wide receiver?
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach believes they can harness the former first-round pick’s untapped potential. “I think the sky is the limit for him,” Veach said, per ESPN’s Adam Teicher.
“There’s a reason why we traded for him, and we felt like he was a first-round talent.” Toney struggled to find a consistent role through his first two seasons. He only started in eight regular-season games and failed to record 500 receiving yards or more. Not all blame falls on Toney, though.
The Giants were a disaster when they drafted him. In 2021, New York went 4-13 and fired HC Joe Judge. Also, QB Daniel Jones struggled, posting a career-low 47.5 QBR, well below the league average.
After the Giants traded Toney to Kansas City before the trade deadline, he showed signs of growth, particularly in the Chiefs’ 38-35 Super Bowl LVII victory over the Eagles.
KADARIUS TONEY TAKES IT DOWN TO THE 5 YARD LINE.
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— NFL (@NFL) February 13, 2023
He caught a five-yard TD pass which gave the Chiefs a one-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Afterward, he returned a punt for 65 yards, the longest in Super Bowl history, setting up a five-yard Skyy Moore TD two plays later. Toney’s big-play ability is something HC Andy Reid and QB Patrick Mahomes can maximize, meaning the 23-year-old could break out.
Kansas City needs a legit No. 1 WR. Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Richie James are their other wideouts; none crossed the 60-reception mark last season.
2023 second-round draft pick Rashee Rice had the FBS’ third-most receiving yards last season (1,355), but he might have growing pains as a rookie. Toney’s progress will be a priority for the Chiefs. They must maintain offensive firepower to capture their third Super Bowl title in five years.