Though there haven’t been any NFL camp activities, one of the Las Vegas Raiders’ 2020 rookies could have a profound effect on their roster.
Lynn Bowden Jr. was selected with the 80th overall pick back in April’s NFL Draft. Hailing from the University of Kentucky, he is expected to have a peculiar effect on the Raiders offense. There are a few reasons for this, one of the biggest is the versatility he brings to the Silver and Black. Whether you want to call him a “Swiss Army Knife” or “Joker,” he will single handily add another dimension to his new team. Before his collegiate career ended, Bowden had seen action at wide receiver, running back, and quarterback.
Scott Bair of NBC Sports recently predicted Bowden’s on-field flexibility will be on display out of the gate. This would both help the Raiders immediately, but also form part of a much bigger plan. A plan which Raiders general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden set in motion.
“Lynn Bowden Jr. becomes a headache to opponents as a runner, receiver, and returner. Getting significant contributions from four of seven draft picks would be a major boon for the Raiders and a sign that they stacked draft classes to form a young, potent foundation for sustained success.” -Bair’s prediction on Bowden
Odd Man Out
There’s no doubt Bowden will be used as a pass-catcher, whether it’s down the sidelines or out of the backfield. Coach Gruden has a talent he can use to confuse defenses which even in decoy situations will lead to opportunities for his teammates. Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, however, believes Bowden will also have an effect on how the Raiders organize the roster with regards to quarterback and running back.
“Among the positions to keep an eye on is quarterback, where the addition of Lynn Bowden, a former college quarterback and current rookie running back, could impact how many quarterbacks the Raiders keep on the roster. The presence of Bowden and his ability to command the playbook and master multiple roles could also squeeze newly acquired running back Devontae Booker off the roster.”
When it comes to the Raiders quarterback room, the team can roll into the 2020 season with Derek Carr as QB1, Marcus Mariota as QB2, and Bowden as the third signal-caller. The possibility of Bowden leading to Devontae Booker getting cut is intriguing. A stable of Josh Jacobs, Jalen Richard, and Booker appears to be what the Raiders need. After all, Bowden is much more than a running back despite his current listing. This could all be simply due to the way an NFL roster is officially listed and organized. Without offseason football activities, a lot of these decisions will be difficult for Raiders’ brass. Yet, what fans can be sure of is that Bowden will have a presence regardless of where he lines up in 2020.
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*Top Photo: Bryan Woolston/Associated Press