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2023 Prospect Profile: Josh Downs

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Age 20

Height  5’9”

Weight 171 lbs

40 time   4.48

Vertical 38.5”

Broad Jump 10’11

What's the buzz?  Josh Downs is a very popular wide receiver prospect out of UNC.  Downs excels at his footwork and agility   Great route running , and speed.  fearless over the middle and a knack for the end zone.

Running report.  Another wide receiver who has also run track, Downs has the agility and multiple gears to accelerate or decelerate if need be to shake would-be defenders.  Can line up in the backfield, catch swing passes, and wheel routes in the flat.   Returned punts and can shake tackles with ease.   Unlike some young receivers that do not have the route running versatility, Downs does have more knowledge from his work on special teams.  

Catching report.  Downs makes contested catches with strong hands and laser focus.  Makes catches in tight, away from his body and in traffi ( 72.8% contested catch rate last season ) Plays bigger than you think, 

Strengths.    He put up huge numbers since 2021 catching passes from Sam Howell and Drake Maye, to the tune of 195/2364/19.   Downs steps up and commands attention and lives for the big moment.   Downs reads defenses well and works back to his quarterback.

Weakness.  How does he stack up against better competition?  He showed flashes of brilliance against top schools such as Clemson but a lot of his opposition was small schools with inferior defensive opponents.  Downs’ blocking skills also need some refining.  His effort on plays that didn’t target him often left more to be desired.  Ideally you’d like to see him bulk up to withstand the rigors of the NFL. 

Lazy comparison:  Marquise Brown.   There is such a small sample size of undersized WR’s at the NFL level, this unfortunately meaning that a lot of the smaller players down not pan out.  They are often pigeon holed into slot only roles, and do not have the size and strength to be significant blockers which can relegate them to the bench in short yardage distances.  Downs will have to do most of his damage between the 20’s and rack up lofty yards after the catch numbers to be a fantasy football mainstay.

College Numbers

Year     School   Gms          Rec  Yards   TD

2020   | UNC   |     4          |    7  |  119  |    3

2021   | UNC   |     13       |  101 |  1335 |  8

2022   | UNC   |     11       |    94  | 1029 |  11

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