Josh Downs NFL Draft

Josh Downs

  • WR North Carolina
  • Junior
  • #42
  • 5'10"
  • 171lbs
  • Prospect
  • Atlantic Coast

Prospect Summary

Josh Downs 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report


  • Finished third in the state triple jump and fourth in the long jump
  • Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist 
  • Basketball background 
  • He clocked in at 4.47s 40 and jumped 42-inch vertical as a high school junior. 


  • Scheme tendencies: Air Raid (Phil Longo)
  • 2022 projected role: Starting slot receiver 

Pros: Josh Downs was the main fixture in the Tar Heels’ offense in 2021. Downs caught 70 passes throughout the first eight contests in 2021. He is a nuanced route-runner and tempos his routes without giving telltales. His explosive burst stresses DBs early in route stems when attacking vertically. He tracks the football well while in flight and plays bigger than his smaller size. He’s a high-football-IQ receiver that understands defensive leverages and how to attack them. He does a good job making himself available when his QB is pressured and breaks the pocket. Downs offers a potential run-after-catch option due to his slippery ability in the open field.

Cons: Josh Downs’ diminutive size lessens his ability to win at the catch point vertically. He projects predominantly as a slot receiver in the NFL. He struggles with physicality during his route stems. He can be knocked off his spot and that interrupts his timing. He’s had only limited exposure to press coverage and those reps were not the cleanest in terms of his release package. He is not an effective front or playside blocker in the run game. Despite having good speed and burst, his speed tops out quickly, limiting his explosive play potential against NFL-caliber athletes.

Josh Downs NFL Draft Scouting Report by Damian Parson