New York Giants rookie receiver Kadarius Toney had an unusual debut for the team as he dealt with a footwear problem and did one drill barefoot.
After the NFL Draft, the next great anticipation for a rookie is their first practice as a pro.
Kadarius Toney of the Giants couldn’t have imagined how his day would go.
At New York’s rookie minicamp on Friday, Toney’s cleats created all sorts of problems, prompting him to shed them at one point.
Here’s what it looked like when Toney did a footwork drill with one bare foot.
Dan Duggan of The Athletic summarized it this way: “Toney went blue cleats/no socks, red cleats/no socks, red cleats/white socks before settling on white cleats/white socks. Was in and out of practice before shutting it down late with an apparent calf cramp.”
Shoes unsettled Kadarius Toney’s debut with the Giants
Toney told reporters after practice that his cleats were the wrong size, which is what caused him problems throughout the first practice. He ended up standing to the side as teammates finished the day with conditioning drills because it was “the safer route” relative to his footwear issue.
It was well-publicized that the Giants really wanted DeVonta Smith out of Alabama in the first round of the NFL Draft. When the Eagles traded up to beat them to the Heisman winner, New York traded back and settled for Toney.
Maybe that’s why Toney was so eager to do anything to impress coaches, including running through drills barefoot.
Toney will have many more opportunities to impress beyond this one practice. He drew the attention of NFL teams in the first place by racking up 984 yards and 10 touchdowns for Florida in 2020.
First, he’s got to feel good with what’s on his feet. Then, his quick feet can create headlines for much more productive reasons.