2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Lynn Bowden Jr.
School: The University of Kentucky
Weight: 199 pounds
With some players that possess Bowden’s frame, you expect the cliche ” more quick than fast” parallel. Yet, Bowden exceeds expectations. With two-step acceleration, he exhibits the trait of long speed that will transition to Sundays. Furthermore, he gets to maximum velocity quickly, allowing him to pull away from corners vertically.
During his stay in Lexington, Bowden touched the ball more than most in various ways. As a result, the tactile dexterity in securing passes looks natural on film. More importantly, the ball does not attack Bowden’s hands. Instead, the fluidity of the catch motion helps wit7h yards after catch
Working primarily from the slot, Bowden operates underneath with the threat of the double move. Bowden , through twitch footwork and a feel for the offense, finds open space and will work back to assist the quarterback.
Bowden averaged 22.8 yards per kick return. More impressively, he netted 22.1 yards per punt return. With that said, he flips the field as soon as he touches the ball.
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When you look at the current state of the roster, the Raiders need playmakers. More importantly, they employ too many limited athletes. For instance, Jalen Richard should sit on the hot seat. Granted, he knows the offense, but is he a difference maker? At this writing, Richard averages 3.3 yards per rush and 8.6 yards per catch. Additionally, he doesn’t return punts anymore, probably due to his previous history of muffs. Richard appears to have reached his ceiling in this offense. More to the point, he doesn’t find the endzone with any sort of regularity. Scoring one touchdown over his last 172 touches, Richard doesn’t bring much to the table. The Raiders need an upgrade.
From first blush, Bowden solves a myriad of problems for the Raiders. Within the offense, Bowden could operate in the slot or backfield. In the slot, Bowden will feast on option routes and converts third downs, with the ability to break long gains, if tackle attempts miss. Next, in the backfield, as a third-down back, he gets to the perimeter faster than anyone on the roster, pressuring coverage to meet him there. Jon Gruden loves running the jet sweep. We’ve seen the Raiders fail at that play. Most notably, Trevor Davis’ ill-advised attempt on fourth down at Arrowhead. Bowden’s ability to carry the ball like a running back and the knowledge and experience of choosing the proper hole to run through.
Meanwhile, Bowden will also give Rich Bisaccia a return weapon, his first since Dwayne Harris’ release. On top of all of his on-field tributes, Bowden would present the Raiders with the gift of roster flexibility. By drafting him, presumably on Day Three, he opens up at least three roster spots. Additionally, Bowden reminds many of another former Kentucky standout, Randall Cobb. Cobb enjoyed his best year as a pro under the tutelage of WR coach Edgar Bennett, currently employed by the Raiders.
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