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Josh Downs

2023 Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update: Josh Downs

We focus on each rookie’s situation, talent, opportunity, risk, and market to provide post-draft analysis for dynasty managers.

Josh Downs

The NFL Draft is behind us, rookie drafts are taking place, and as dynasty managers, we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In our Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update series, we break down all the incoming fantasy-relevant rookies, looking at their profiles and where they fit. The basis of the rookie profile involves the usage of STORM analysis, focusing on five key components: Situation, Talent, Opportunity, Risk, and Market.


Name: Josh Downs

Position: Wide Receiver

Pro Team: Indianapolis Colts

College Team: North Carolina

Draft Status: Round three, 79th overall

Josh Downs did very little as a freshman at North Carolina but broke onto the scene in 2021. He teamed up with Sam Howell for over 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns. There were questions coming into 2022 with a new quarterback, but he again went over 1,000 yards and increased his touchdowns to 11. I think Downs is best suited for the slot, but he did increase his snaps out wide from 54 to 122 this year. His ability to separate and move quickly in and out of breaks should help him receive immediate playing time. Downs could provide what the Colts hoped for in Parris Campbell, but he could not consistently stay healthy.


Josh Downs Combine Results:

Height: 5′ 9″

Weight: 171 lbs

Arm: 30 3/8″

Hand: 9 1/4″

40-Yard Dash: 4.48 seconds

10-Yard Split: 1.49 seconds

Vertical Jump: 3.5″

Broad Jump: 10′ 1″

Downs does not have blazing speed, as he was just in the 63rd percentile in the 40-yard dash. He did show other results at the combine that proved to be impressive. He was in the top 93rd percentile in the 10-yard split and the 92nd percentile in the broad jump. While he does not have top speed, his measurables show what you can see on film. He is quick to separate and, despite the size, is good at high-pointing the ball. His hand size is low in the ranking of other receiving prospects, but he is great at snatching the ball, and I do not see that as an issue at the next level.


Indianapolis Colts Depth Chart:

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Data Courtesy of 4 for 4.

I was a little surprised that Downs fell to the third round, and some of the receivers picked ahead of him. He did land in a favorable spot if Anthony Richardson works out as the starting quarterback for the Colts. Michal Pittman is the only established receiving option on the team currently. Alec Pierce was drafted in the second round in 2022 but had modest numbers in his rookie season. At worst, Downs will be third on the depth chart and command the slot position.


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Data Courtesy of Sports Reference.

There is always risk with receivers, especially in their rookie year. Downs is already very good in and out of breaks and can create separation. That will be very important for a young quarterback like Richardson. The most significant risk is the offense’s development under a rookie signal caller. Another risk will be if the offense is more run-heavy with Jonathon Taylor. This will limit the opportunities for Downs, with Michael Pittman being the main target hog for the team.


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Data Courtesy of MFL Rookie ADP on DLF.

Downs is going as WR8 based on the latest data at My Fantasy League (MFL) and the 22nd overall. This is a fair spot for him because the receivers ahead of him, like Marvin Mims and Rashee Rice, will be in more pass-happy offenses. I would personally take Downs over both Devon Achane and Roschon Johnson because of the lack of clarity and competition for those teams at running back. With Downs’s ability to get separation, I could see him being a sleeper for this season. Not the ceiling of a top 15 wide receiver but a top 36 possibility, and have great weeks where he could boom in your flex spot.

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Data Courtesy of DLF Trade Analyzer.

Downs is WR 48 at KeepTradeCut and is 15 spots ahead of Alec Pierce, who is his competition for targets behind Michael Pittman. So, you can see he is highly thought of among other fantasy football managers. He is also above Gabriel Davis and Brandin Cooks, who have much more stable and established quarterbacks.

From above, you can see that Downs is going for a mid to early second-round pick. I think that is a fair price, but some of the suggested players I would not necessarily deal him for. If I could trade Isiah Pacheco or Matthew Stafford, I would jump on that trade for the potential of Downs.
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2023 Dynasty Rookie Post-Draft Update: Josh Downs
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