The Raiders drafted probably the most intriguing player in the draft in April, in QB/WR/RB Lynn Bowden Jr from the University of Kentucky. Bowden played wide receiver, running back, and quarterback in college, and the Raiders will likely use him in the same facet. Bowden will likely fill a Taysom Hill role, playing multiple positions on offense, as well as returning kicks and punts. With the Raiders investing a third round selection on Bowden, it’s safe to say that they have BIG plans for him. He will make the 53 man roster, most likely as a listed position of running back.
What does Bowden bring to the table?
The main role that Bowden will serve in will be as the primary return specialist, where he excelled in college, averaging 22.9 yards per kick return, and 22.1 punt yard return average with two scores. He’s quick, athletic, explosive, and can be a nice return specialist for years to come.
Another role, will be that of a backup to Josh Jacobs. Specifically, expect to see Bowden in a lot of third down passing situations, where Derek Carr can line up in the shotgun and either hand the ball off, or throw it to Bowden on a quick screen and get him into open space. With his speed and athleticism, expect to seem him there quite often.
Bowden will also see some time in a probable wildcat package. The Raiders haven’t employed a wildcat package in some time, but with a player like Bowden, that makes that a possibility again. Keep it simple with designed runs, and throw him in some passing packages, and they’ll have a solid wildcat package to keep defenses on their toes.
Speed and athleticism are about the only two main requirements in becoming a slot receiver in the NFL. Obviously Hunter Renfrow has that spot locked up, and Nelson Agholor is there as well, but they could employ Bowden as a sub in certain passing downs. Get him in some open space and he will make players
While he’ll likely only line up as a quarterback in some wildcat packages, you never know what Jon Gruden is going to do, and he could potentially have something up his sleeve to employ Bowden as a quarterback in certain situations.