Reggie Wayne makes a bold claim about Colts new wide receiver Josh Downs

Sep 24, 2022; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Josh Downs
Sep 24, 2022; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Josh Downs / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts drafted wide receiver Josh Downs, in large part because of the belief that legend and current coach Reggie Wayne has in him.

With their third pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts selected wide receiver Josh Downs. The Colts were lucky enough that Downs fell to them at pick No. 79 in the third round, after unsuccessfully attempting to trade up for him. Now, Indianapolis believes that it has one of, if not the top, steals of the draft.

Entering the draft, pretty much everyone expected Downs to be off the board well before pick No. 79. That’s why the Colts we’re trying to trade up for him. However, it’s now clear that Indy may have believed in Downs more than any other team, especially wide receivers coach Reggie Wayne.

Wayne, who is a franchise legend and future Hall of Famer, is entering his second season as the wideout coach for the Colts. After Downs was drafted, he revealed that Wayne told him that “he needed” him, and also that he’s the best wide receiver in this draft class.

Reggie Wayne says Josh Downs was best receiver in draft

From everything that has come out since the draft, it seems like Downs is now now in Indianapolis because of Reggie Wayne. One of Indy’s scouts, Chad Henry, explained that Wayne was the driving force behind drafting Josh Downs, saying that Reggie Wayne practically stood on the table for Downs.

In three seasons at North Carolina, Josh Downs played in 28 games, catching 202 passes for 2,483 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also returned punts for the Tar Heels, and that could be a role he contributes in with the the Colts, as he develops as an offensive weapon.

His main role, of course, will be making life easier for the dynamic Anthony Richardson. Playing alongside Indy’s towering wide receivers and tight ends, Downs will bring a shifty and speedy element to the offense, and hopefully a level of explosiveness that the team has been lacking. Under the tutelage of Reggie Wayne, someone who really believes in him, Downs has a chance to develop into a great NFL receiver.

READ MORE: Grading all 12 draft picks for the Colts in 2023 NFL Draft