Raiders: Evaluating Lynn Bowden Jr
With the 80th pick in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders selected Lynn Bowden Jr. He’s a running back out of Kentucky. While Bowden was drafted as a running back, his abilities stretch far beyond that. Throughout his three years at Kentucky, Bowden produced on the ground, through the air, and lined up in the slot.
After starting his Junior season at running back, Bowden was asked to play quarterback for the team’s final 8 games. During which he racked up 403 yards and 3 touchdowns. While these numbers do seem a bit underwhelming, keep in mind this is to go along with a near 1,500-yard season on the ground. It is still up in the air how the Raiders will plan to use Bowden in the passing game, but with an inconsistent and struggling Derek Carr make sure to keep your eyes out.
Before his switch to quarterback, Bowden spent the majority of his Junior season at running back. He finished the season with 1,468 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. Bowden was drafted as an RB but his natural position is in the slot. It is hard to tell where Bowden will be taking the majority of his snaps. With Josh Jacobs and Jalen Richard, there is no immediate need for Bowden in the Raiders backfield.
Through all of Bowden’s position changes during his time at Kentucky, in 2018 Bowden showed his productivity at receiver with 67 receptions for 745 yards and 5 touchdowns. Similar to the running back position, there is no immediate need for Bowden with Henry Ruggs III, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow, and Nelson Agholor. Despite all this, Bowden can be extremely effective as a gadget receiver taking sweeps and short catch and runs.
While Bowden is extremely versatile, part of all his position switches and different roles throughout college has limited his overall development. The only player that comes to mind when thinking about Bowden is Saints gadget player, Taysom Hill. Even without a definite role in the offense, Hill was certainly able to make an impact as well as some big plays. If used correctly, Bowden should be able to fit into a similar role as Hill and could have a big impact on the offense even with limited snaps.
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