Tonyan attended McHenry Community High School – East Campus. He lettered twice in basketball and football. As a quarterback, he was named all-conference as a junior and senior, and set the school record with 5,000 career passing yards.
Tonyan enrolled at Indiana State in 2012, and started for four years after red-shirting his first year. He appeared in 11 games in 2013, starting three as a quarterback. His first career completion was a 57-yard touchdown, and he completed 35 of 102 passes for 348 yards and three touchdowns. His sophomore year, he moved to wide receiver, where he caught 54 passes for 747 yards (6th in school history) and four touchdowns, including a career-high 172 yards in the last game of the season (seventh in school history). In his 2015 junior season, Tonyan had 40 receptions for 601 yards (fourteenth in school history) and six touchdowns despite starting just six of 11 games, which earned him an honorable mention on the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference team. As a fifth-year senior, Tonyan had 56 receptions for 699 yards (ninth all-time) and a school-record ten touchdowns. He set several career records for the Sycamores, including 20 touchdown receptions, 21 consecutive games with a reception, two games with three receiving touchdowns, and was second all-time to Sam Logan with 150 receptions and 2,047 yards.
On May 12, 2017, the Detroit Lions signed Tonyan to a three-year, $1.66 million contract as an undrafted free agent. His signing made him the tenth Indiana State football player to reach the NFL. He was released before the season began, but signed to the Packers' practice squad for the final four games of the season, and was re-signed by the Packers for the 2018 campaign. He appeared in the first nine games of the season, but was targeted just once before his first NFL reception, a 54-yard touchdown from Aaron Rodgers against the Seahawks in Week 11. In 2019, the Packers have tendered exclusive rights to Tonyan.