5 prospects the Vikings could miss out on without a 2023 second-round pick

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Mazi Smith
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Mazi Smith /
2 of 5
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Josh Downs /

Josh Downs – WR (North Carolina)

The Vikings’ need for a new wide receiver No. 2 to replace Adam Thielen is real. As of this writing, they haven’t signed a wideout in free agency, so they’ll look toward the draft to fill that hole. One guy in that fringe first/second-round range is UNC’s Josh Downs.

Downs doesn’t possess great size as he measured in at just 5-foot-9 and 171 pounds. He has plenty of speed though, running the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds.

Despite his smaller stature, Downs is excellent at battling for contested balls and winning that battle. He knows exactly when to time his jump to go up and snatch the ball away from a defender.

As a runner with the ball in his hands, Downs is fantastic. He’s elusive with great vision, and that speed and burst help break away from defenders or bust through tackles.

Downs is an exciting prospect who could sneak into the first round. He’s more likely to end up going somewhere in the second, which means the Vikings will have no shot at selecting him.