Josh Downs, the North Carolina Tar Heel wide receiver college prospect had a solid NFL combine performance this weekend and should be on the Cleveland Browns radar as a possible selection in this year‘s draft
Could the wide receiver prospect Josh Downs, from North Carolina be a potential draft pick of the Cleveland Browns? For the second year in a row, Cleveland will have an opportunity to select their first draft pick in the second round rather than the first.
That’s because they gave away multiple first-round picks when they traded for Deshaun Watson, their new franchise quarterback, He will continue to work with veterans Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones, but there's still a need to find a couple more reliable targets.
In the last NFL draft, the Browns took David Bell from Purdue in the third round. He was considered by many to be a good slot receiver and a potential replacement for outgoing veteran Jarvis Landry. While Bell had some good moments this past season, he wasn’t as productive as some had hoped.
Cleveland will likely try to pick up a player in free agency, but they will be looking in this draft again for more wide receiver help. That help could come with the selection of Downs, who had a great couple of seasons with the Tar Heels, going over 1,000 yards in 2021 and 2022.
He’s quick, shifty, and understands the wide receiver position very well. He’s not a tall receiver only standing at 5'10 but he’s taken great pride in learning the skill sets to make for a great wideout. He’s considered a great route runner and can create space, especially when he’s on the inside of the field.
Downs has great speed as was demonstrated at the combine as he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds. His vertical ended up being 38.5 inches and his broad jump was 10 feet-11 inches.
Downs is considered to be in the top 10 of wide receivers in this draft class and has been leaning into the top 5 discussions. There are other receivers that are getting some buzz as well such as Tyler Scott of Cincinnati, who grew up in Ohio.
With so much attention being given to fixing the Browns defense this offseason, let’s not forget that the offense still needs more weapons and Downs could be one of those. If Cleveland does decide to select him, it would allow the former Tar Heel to learn from one of the best in the business in Amari Cooper and he could challenge David Bell for that third wide receiver spot going into the season.