Chris Ballard explains how Josh Downs is really similar to Colts legend TY Hilton

Josh Downs is having an amazing rookie season for the Indianapolis Colts and general manager Chris Ballard sees a lot of TY Hilton in the rookie receiver.
Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars
Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

One of the best things about the first half of the season for the Indianapolis Colts was the emergence of rookie receiver Josh Downs. After Indy selected Downs in the third-round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the organization threw a lot of praise and expectations his way. So far, after just 10 games with the team, he is exceeding those expectations and showing that he was worthy of all the praise.

Playing in all 10 games with the Colts, Josh Downs has caught 43 passes for 523 yards and two touchdowns— all while battling a knee injury. All of those numbers are second on the team to Michael Pittman Jr., as Downs has quickly established himself as the team’s No. 2 receiver. While doing that, he has earned even more praise from fans, media members, and the organization.

Recently, general manager Chris Ballard compared Downs to legendary Colts receiver TY Hilton. While speaking on the Official Colts Podcast, Ballard didn’t really want to put Downs in the TY category yet, but he believes Downs has some TY Hilton in him because both receivers have tremendous instincts. Ballard explained, “TY probably had the best instincts of any player I’ve been around in my career, the kid just knew how to play the game. Josh has got some of that in him. He’s got tremendous instincts and feel for the game.”

Chris Ballard believes Josh Downs has elite instincts like TY Hilton

Ballard has always made the instincts point about TY Hilton; that’s why he believed TY would be able to play professionally for as long as he wanted. Shane Steichen also praised Downs’ instincts, saying earlier in the season that the rookie just has a natural feel for how to play the game of football. That’s why he’s having so much success so early.

Fittingly enough, TY Hilton was also one of Josh Downs’ pro comparisons during the scouting process. Both receivers have similar builds and playing styles. That’s why it was cool to see Downs end up with the Colts, also selected in the third round like Hilton. If Downs can have a similar career in Indianapolis to TY’s, fans will be very happy.