EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants first-round pick Kadarius Toney‘s opening practice with the team did not go exactly as planned. That was evident when he was seen running an individual wide receiver drill Friday without a cleat.
Shoeless KT was born out of necessity because of what he termed the “wrong size” cleats.
Toney was seen fiddling with his right cleat early during Friday’s rookie minicamp practice. At different points during the workout he changed cleats, added socks, changed socks, worked with the equipment staff and even the athletic training staff. He even kneeled off to the side and looked downright uncomfortable at times.
It’s fair to say he didn’t start out on the right foot. Instead, he started out barefoot.
“I think they did the wrong size. Just figuring it out right now,” Toney said afterward. “I ended up getting it eventually.”
Well, at least not before the session was over. Despite returning for a special-teams period late in practice, Toney was on the side as his teammates ran conditioning drills to finish the day.
It was an unusual first impression, no doubt.
“Yeah, it was kind of, yeah, basically just cleat,” Toney said. “I mean, yeah, it was just a safer route to go [on the conditioning], I guess you could say.”
The Giants traded back in the first round of last month’s draft and used the 20th overall pick to select Toney out of the University of Florida, where he was first-team All-SEC last year.
But everything is new now that he is a professional, including his equipment. Toney signed an apparel deal with Adidas before the draft, according to his Instagram account.
Coach Joe Judge considered this rookie minicamp, which began Friday, as a sort of orientation for the rookies. But he probably didn’t think that meant figuring out what size shoe would fit his top pick in this year’s draft.
“You know what, first day on the field I think there’s a little bit of equipment issue,” Judge said. “We have to get that straightened out and make sure our guys hit the field with equipment they are comfortable with. We’ll handle that, make sure it’s not an issue going forward.”
Day 2 is scheduled for Saturday. Hopefully with two properly fitted cleats.