Packers Had ‘Fingers Crossed’ They’d Land Kadarius Toney: Report


Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers.

So much for the notion that the New York Giants reached when they selected wide receiver Kadarius Toney with the No. 20 overall selection in last week’s NFL Draft. While the Florida product wasn’t readily mentioned amongst the blue-chip prospects at his position leading up to the first round, arguably no wideout has been more lauded over since the conclusion of the draft.

Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner called Toney the “single most dynamic player in the draft.” Future NFL Hall of Famer Reggie Wayne dubbed the playmaker a “human joystick” and the “toughest” pass-catcher in his class. Moving from analysts to NFL teams, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer admitted that his team was eyeing Toney at pick No. 25, and that missing out on him left the Jags “heartbroken.”

Apparently, Jacksonville wasn’t alone in their failed pursuit of the former SEC star.

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Packers Had ‘Fingers Crossed’ Toney Would Fall to Them

For years the Green Bay Packers have been criticized for their inability, or rather stubbornness — depending on who you ask — to supply quarterback Aaron Rodgers with worthy talent on the outside. Ever since Jordy Nelson moved on from Green Bay, it’s been essentially Davante Adams or bust at the wideout position. They’ve readily been linked to talents such as Will Fuller and A.J. Green but ultimately never pulled the trigger. Yet, by the sound of it, they were ready to do so with Toney had he slipped to them with the 29th overall pick.

“This year, [Packers GM] (Brian) Gutekunst resisted the temptation to trade up for Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney, a player the Packers were extremely high on,” The Athletic Bob McGinn reported. “He went No. 20 to the Giants.”

“The Packers had their fingers crossed that Toney might fall to them because there was a passel of other slot receivers with similar ratings,” he added. “The Giants ended that plan by taking the explosive wide receiver.”

Rodgers’ ‘Grievances Against Gutekunst’ Include Not Adding WRs

As we’ve all been made very much aware of over the past week or so, Rodgers has grown ever more disgruntled with the current situation in Green Bay. Plenty of his disdain centers around Gutekunst and his decision-making, or rather lack thereof, when it comes to the wideout position.

“In addition to the (Jake) Kumerow cut, Rodgers appears to have a lengthy list of grievances against Gutekunst,” McGinn noted. “They include the GM’s decision to trade up and draft a quarterback, Jordan Love, one year ago, the GM’s decision not to inform him of the trade and selection before it happened and the team’s decision not to draft from a deep crop of wide receivers in 2020.”

Now, would the addition of Toney completely alter Rodgers’ perceived desire to get out of Green Bay? Likely not. Yet, at the very least, Toney is the type of intriguing, dynamic player that would have at the very least slightly helped mitigate the situation the Packers suddenly find themselves in.


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