When the Las Vegas Raiders selected Lynn Bowden Jr. from the University of Kentucky, fans found themselves in jubilation. The Silver and Black had landed an all-world football talent who could play a role at quarterback in 2020.
Raiders general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden knew the offense needed help after the 2019 season. More wide receiver talent, more depth at running back, and a competent backup quarterback were needed. Raiders brass did the next best thing and got someone who could do all of that. Bowden, dubbed the “Joker earlier in the offseason, is the Raiders’ own Swiss Army Knife.
Bowden playing quarterback could be a tricky proposition though. The Wildcats running back did play quarterback at Kentucky and did so very well. However, the Raiders appear to be set with Derek Carr as the incumbent starter and Marcus Mariota as the backup.
What Should The Raiders Do?
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson recently gave some insight into what the future might hold for Bowden in 2020.
“Right now, we have him working out of the running backs room, he’s meeting with Kirby Wilson, the running backs coach, but also he’s had to learn a lot of things that we do at the quarterback position.”
Clearly, the Raiders knew what they were doing when they drafted Bowden as a running back in April. After Josh Jacobs, the running back stable was looking thin, especially after DeAndre Washington’s departure. Jalen Richard will still see his share of snaps in 2020 but Bowden will be right there as well. Another thing to keep in mind, Bowden’s role might not be that of a traditional backup running backup. Rather, it’s possible he’ll be used all over the field, maybe even in Wildcat formations.
Fans will know soon enough what Gruden and Olson have in mind for Bowden with training camp underway.
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*Top Photo: Nell Redmond/Associated Press