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Josh Downs 2023 NFL Draft Profile

Josh Downs
The Josh Downs 2023 NFL Draft profile is hot off the press. What do you need to know about the UNC wide receiver? (Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Josh Downs 2023 NFL Draft Profile

I’ve been in on Josh Downs for a long time and his NFL arrival is rapidly approaching. North Carolina has sent Javonte Williams and Michael Carter to the NFL recently and now it’s time for the touted wide receiver to make his mark. Let’s review the 2023 NFL Draft profile for Josh Downs!

I sort of talked about this at the combine but I feel like I have Downs figured out. He feels very similar to Santana Moss. Gets open. Has that juice to him. For sure creates separation. Has enough speed and is on the smaller side. Have we covered it? I just feel he’s what Zay Flowers is but a notched below.

The size is obviously a concern (5-foot-9, 171). It’s not a secret that most of these smaller guys just outright fail. However, I feel pretty good that Downs will clear. The lower body explosion is real. A 4.48 40 time and 38.5-inch vertical checks both of those boxes.

Downs was also a four-star recruit and a top 100 player during the 2020 cycle. He was able to get on the field as a freshman and collected three touchdowns on seven receptions. From there Downs really popped as a sophomore and carried that momentum through 2022. Over the last two years through 24 contests, Downs notched 195 receptions for 2,364 yards and 19 touchdowns. There are no questions about the production. This has been one of the best wide receivers in the country.

Downs also has NFL bloodlines. His uncle is former longtime NFL cornerback Dre Bly. Downs can return kicks if asked to do so and will do so well. He’s always in control and knows his spots. Gets open and creates YAC yardage when he touches the ball. The only real red flag I see is sometimes he gets beat up by super physical corners.

I have a solid third round grade on Downs. I feel as though he will be a capable slot receiver for a long time that can successfully stretch the defense and create YAC on those underneath routes. Won’t be a pure WR1 but someone who becomes a really good starting caliber player.

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