04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Saints' picks: Round 4/122 -- Nick Toon, WR, 6-2, 215, Wisconsin...The son of former New York Jets star Al Toon, he doesn't possess blazing speed, but does have the kind of size the Saints like in their wide receivers. - The Sports Xchange
As the son of Wisconsin Hall of Famer and New York Jets Pro Bowl wide receiver Al Toon, Nick has always endured the obvious comparison.
In that regard, so far, so good.
Nick surpassed his father's receiving yardage mark at Wisconsin (2,103 from 1982-85) with 171 catches for 2,447 yards, although his 18 touchdowns are one short of his father's 19. In the 1985 draft, Al Toon was selected tenth overall, ahead of Jerry Rice, but his career was shortened by nine concussions and he retired at 29 years old.
Nick is a physical player and excellent route runner, similar to his father. But Nick is expected to wait until the late second or third round to hear his name called.
He has had his share of injuries the last two seasons. He missed three games in 2010 due to turf toe and sat out the Ohio State game with a thigh injury. Toon underwent surgery on his left foot twice, including once in midseason last year.
At his pro day in early March, Toon performed well with a 40-yard time of 4.43 seconds and a vertical jump of 39 inches.
Release: Physical off the line, using his hands to defeat press and winning inside or outside position against most any college corner. Also owns a hop-step hesitation move to freeze defenders. Lines up in the slot and outside.
Hands: Flashes strong hands, making the occasional tough catch and snatch passes away from his body. Drops too many 50-50 balls, however, often in third down or other crucial situations. Fails to extend upwards for the ball in sideline battles, instead waiting for it to arrive and allowing defender into the play.
Route running: Typically wins one-on-one battles outside. Has quick feet to push upfield and quickly stop for comeback routes. Sells fake inside route well, using quick cut to get outside shoulder. Tends to run high, however, must sink his hips to shake NFL defenders. Uses size and length to separate when facing man, but tips corners playing off by slowing down before making his out cut. Challenges the seam with his long strides but does not have elite speed to burn by defenders with pure speed.
After the catch: Strong runner with the ball in his hands, secures the ball quickly and shakes or spins off arm tackles and maintains balance to keep moving forward. Uses stiff-arm to hold off smaller defensive backs. Thrown bubble screens to use his strength on the edge.
Blocking: Flashse aggressive run blocking outside, landing multiple punches to knock him off balance. Resorts to cut blocks and throwing shoulders into defenders at times. Does not drop his hips to get position and fails to take correct angles to his man, allowing the corner to get inside position and make a play on the ball.
Intangibles: Missed time in 2010 with turf toe and a thigh bruise. Father, Al, was Wisconsin Hall of Fame receiver (left as all-time receiving leader) and was No. 10 pick overall in 1985 NFL Draft and played eight years with N.Y. Jets.