It was no secret that the Las Vegas Raiders needed to add playmakers to their offense this offseason, and they did exactly that in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Not only did the Raiders use their first selection (12th overall) on speedy wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, but they also grabbed wide receiver Bryan Edwards and Lynn Bowden, who can play every offensive skilled position, with back-to-back picks in the third round.
Bowden had a successful college career at Kentucky in which he played wide receiver, running back and even quarterback while also returning punts. Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said after the draft that they took him to play running back, although he likely will move all around the field and demonstrate his rare versatility.
That is OK with Bowden as he said he is willing to play whatever position is asked of him to help his team win, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic:
“Whatever they need me to play,” Bowden said the night he was drafted. “I’m not set on one position. I’m trying to win as many games as we can, get the championship. Wherever Coach Gruden wants me to play, that’s where I’m going to play. …
“He said he wants to do a lot of things with me.”
Bowden even went as far to say that he believes he would have won the Heisman Trophy his final season at Kentucky if he played quarterback full-time:
“How do I put this in a humble way?” Bowden said. “Teams knew we were going to run the ball 50 times a game and there was only one game I was under 100 yards, and that game I had 99. So …
“If I would have started at quarterback, I feel like I might have won a Heisman. The numbers would have been crazy.”
Bowden had 1,468 rushing yards, 348 receiving yards and 403 passing yards to go along with 17 total touchdowns in 13 games in 2019, showing he truly can do it all. He has been compared to New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill and is excited to fill that type of role in the NFL:
“I’m happy about that,” Bowden said. “I feel like I’m going to wake the world up. It’s only a matter of time.”
Mayock believes that Jon Gruden will use Bowden as a “joker” in his offense, so it will be interesting to see just how creative the Raiders get with the 22-year-old.
Regardless though, it should be fun to watch as the Raiders look to get back into postseason contention in 2020.