On Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders added a lethal weapon to their offense in the form of Lynn Bowden Jr. Although he might primarily play wide receiver at the next level, he can do so much more than catch passes.
Bowden had a solid sophomore season with the Kentucky Wildcats, totaling 67 receptions for 745 yards and five touchdowns. Many thought he’d become one of the best wideouts in the SEC as a junior, but instead he actually became the team’s quarterback.
Injuries plagued Kentucky in 2019, ultimately forcing the coaching staff to name Bowden the starting quarterback. He didn’t attempt many passes during his time under center, yet he did rush for a career-high 1,468 yards. His junior season also included 348 receiving yards and 403 passing yards.
The NFL is always evolving and looking for the next game-changer. Considering how versatile Bowden is on offense, the Raiders may have struck gold with their third-round pick.
We sat down with Bowden to discuss his time at Kentucky, how it feels to officially be in the NFL and what his role could potentially look like this fall. Let’s get this interview started.
The Spun: How was it receiving that call from Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock?
Lynn Bowden: It was great to just see that name pop up across the screen. I knew it was my time, but it was still a great feeling.
The Spun: Do you think you’ll have a definitive role in Las Vegas, or do you think it depends on what the coaches want?
LB: I think I’m cool with whatever the coaches think is best for me. I know I can be used in multiple roles though.
An ✖️ Factor. Period.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) April 25, 2020
The Spun: I’ve seen you compared to Taysom Hill. What are your thoughts on that comparison?
LB: I really don’t like being compared to anyone. I’m Lynn Bowden and I can only be myself.
The Spun: As someone who was a part of two Kentucky wins over Louisville how’d that feel?
LB: It was great. Lamar Jackson beat us during my freshman year, but we came back and demolished them in back-to-back years. What makes it so great is that Louisville talks a lot, so it’s nice to beat them.
In this year’s Governor's Cup showdown, @LynnBowden_1 rushed for career highs of 284 yards and four touchdowns. Bowden lead @UKFootball to a school-record 517-yard ground performance that blew out the Louisville Cardinals, 45-13! 😼🏈 #WeAreUK
— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) April 22, 2020
The Spun: How were you able to handle that transition from wideout to quarterback?
LB: I’m an athlete, I can play any position on the field. I don’t have a preference; I just want to do whatever my coaches need from me.
The Spun: Before you threw a game-winning TD pass against Virginia Tech, the two sides were jawing back and forth. How was that game?
LB: Man, that was my favorite moment from my time at Kentucky. Nobody could have ever told me that I’d end my collegiate career throwing a game-winning touchdown pass. It’s surreal.
The Spun: Steve Smith said you’ll be the most impactful wide receiver in the class. What are your thoughts on that?
LB: I’m honored and blessed to hear that. I have to come through and produce. I got a few tricks up my sleeve and I have to be ready to play Week 1.
The Spun: How do you feel about living in Vegas?
LB: New city, I just have to go out there and put on. I don’t really do too much off the field though, so I’ll be in the house for the majority of the time.
The Spun: Will we see you throw a touchdown pass, catch a touchdown and run for a touchdown in a single game?
LB: Ha ha, hopefully I can do that at some point in my career.
Lynn Bowden was insane in college 😳
1,468 Rushing yds (8 gms)
348 Receiving yds
Only player to lead his team in rushing AND receiving yards
Only SEC player in the last 20 yrs to put up 300/300/100 in a season
Paul Hornung 🏆
Manning Award 🏆
Belk Bowl Champ 🥇 pic.twitter.com/m5KCtK6NiH
— BBNation 😼 (@BBNation15) April 24, 2020
The Raiders proved they can run the football just as well as any team in the league. With Bowden on the roster for the 2020 season, the offense should take that next step toward becoming an explosive unit.
Bowden should make an immediate impact in Las Vegas, regardless of how Gruden uses him.