The New York Giants still have their fair share of problems to work out during training camp, but there is reason for optimism heading into the 2021 season. Upper management allocated plenty of resources towards bolstering the offense, including the acquisitions of Kenny Golladay, John Ross, Kyle Rudolph and drafting Kadarius Toney with the 20th overall pick.
For a unit that ranked 31st in points per game last year, it is difficult to imagine the Giants struggling at that level once again with all of these new playmakers. Of course, the offensive line remains a major question after they cut Kevin Zeitler and didnâ€™t supplement his loss appropriately.
General manager Dave Gettleman said it best, at some point, â€œyou have to let the kids play,â€ so I imagine both Matt Peart and Shane Lemieux will land playing time, but they will have to fight to earn it.
Divisional games this year will be extremely important toward the Giants’ playoff hopes, as their non-divisional opponents are tough. Luckily, both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles have issues at positions of necessity. They both have weak secondaries, which will open up the passing game for Daniel Jones and the offense.
In the specific article, I want to take a look at Kadarius Toney and how he could end up being a Cowboy-killer in 2021.
What does Toney bring to the New York Giants?
As the 20th overall pick, Toney finished the 2020 season with a 35% forced missed tackle rate, the highest of any receiver in the draft class. He totaled 1,145 yards from scrimmage and 11 scores. His quick-twitch abilities and shiftiness in the open field make him incredibly difficult to bring down, but for Dallas, they will have far more issues with his talents.
Last year, the Cowboys drafted Ceedee Lamb with their first-round pick but didnâ€™t realize they would have a historically bad defense with one of the worst secondaries in the NFL (29.6 points allowed per game). That reality remains the same, as they drafted three corners to help supplement the loss of Chidobe Awuzie and Byron Jones the year before.
Dallas hired former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn to lead their defense, and he brought over Keanu Neal and Demontae Kazee to help translate his defense.
Atlanta’s defense has been inefficient the past few seasons nonetheless, so the Giants already have an advantage in that category. Toney will have a fantastic advantage to utilize, as Dallas lacks a slot corner to hold it down.
Jourdan Lewis was their primary slot man in 2020, earning 614 snaps at the position. He finished with a 45.8 overall coverage grade, per PFF, allowing 492 yards and three touchdowns. As a four-year veteran, he is a solid tackler in the short medium of the field, but Toney is too agile and quick for him to stand a chance out of the slot.
Based on the obvious mismatch, Toney has a clear advantage and should dominate Lewis. As long as the Giants can get creative and their offensive scheme doesnâ€™t hold them back, I believe Kadarius can be the Cowboy-killer, which would be a dream come true for Giants fans.