UNC Football: Josh Downs among top returning ACC players

According to 247 Sports, UNC football standout Josh Downs is one of the best returning players in the Atlantic Coast Conference. 

Regardless of who is under center for the UNC football program this season, they’ll certainly benefit from having Josh Downs back in the mix.

As a sophomore, Downs put together a breakout season, recording 101 receptions for 1,335 yards and eight touchdowns. He became the focal point of the Tar Heels’ passing attack and will be relied on even more so heading into his junior season.

Recently, Austin Nivison of 247 Sports ranked his top ten ACC players that are returning for the 2022 season. To no surprise, Downs was included on the list, as he’s viewed by Nivison as the second-best player in the conference.

Whoever wins the starting quarterback job at North Carolina this fall will have an elite weapon around him in the form of Downs. In his redshirt-freshman season last fall, Downs led the ACC with 101 receptions. His 1,335 receiving yards were second in the conference behind Biletnikoff winner Jordan Addison. Sam Howell won’t be throwing him the ball in 2022, but Downs should still be highly productive. With another big year, Downs might be able to cement himself as one of the top receivers in the 2023 NFL Draft.

As he becomes NFL Draft eligible at the end of the season, all eyes are on Downs. He’s already drawing a ton of attention, as many analysts consider him as one of the top players at his position. With another big season, Downs could secure himself as one of the first receivers taken off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The UNC football program will go through a transition, as Sam Howell departs for the NFL. However, having a special weapon such as Downs is certainly a boost, as he’ll serve as an important piece for whoever ends up throwing him passes this season.

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