The Giants drafted wide receiver Kadarius Toney with their first-round pick in April. Thomas McGaughey saw the selection a little differently than most.
To him, Toney wasn’t just an addition to the passing attack. As the special teams coordinator McGaughey saw the potential of Toney as a punt returner. And as the rookie has spent some time on the field this minicamp, that perception has only increased.
“He’s electric,” McGaughey said. “He can do some things . . . You saw his tape in college. You know his ability and what he can do with the ball in his hands.”
Those moves have led some to call Toney the “Human Joystick.” McGaughey balked at that moniker — “The ‘Human Joystick’ is Dante Hall,” he said — but has still been impressed by Toney’s abilities.
“When you see a guy with those types of traits as a coach, obviously you get excited because those are unique skill sets,” McGaughey said. “That’s why he was drafted in the first round . . . It’s a value pick. You get a guy that can play in the slot, he can play outside, and then he gives you return flex. I mean, that’s a bonus.”
While Toney has been participating in punt return drills in minicamp, McGaughey made it clear he has to get accustomed to the NFL and the offensive playbook as a priority. McGaughey also noted he has a lot of experienced options at punt returner, including Jabril Peppers who handled the job last year and newly signed cornerback Adoree’ Jackson.
None of that, however, will stop McGaughey from daydreaming about what Toney might be able to do for the Giants’ return game.
“I’ve seen some very unique traits in Kadarius,” McGaughey said. “He has skills. We’ve all seen the tape on him. We know exactly what he is . . . Can’t wait to get him in here [in training camp] and get him going and coach him up and see what he can do.”