My Draft Dudes: Lynn Bowden Jr. “The one man band”

Name: Lynn Bowder Jr.
Position: WR/RB
School: University of Kentucky
Height: 5’10.5”
Weight: 204 Lbs

Overview

Bowden is being dubbed by many as the most versatile player in this draft class…and rightfully so. Bowden was voted 1st team All-American in 2019 as an all purpose player and took home the Paul Hornung award for the nation’s most versatile player.

It isn’t unheard of in today’s NFL to see a DB play deep, in the box, in the slot, off the edge and at the Nickel but it’s rare you see an offensive player(outside of Taysom Hill) with that much versatility. Bowden excelled at RB(206 career carries for 1530 yards & 13 TDs), WR(114 career receptions for 1303 yards & 6 TDs), KR/PR(80 career returns for 1827 yards & 2 TDs) and even QB(38 career completions for 403 yards & 5 TDs/5-2 record at the helm) at the University of Kentucky.

Don’t get me wrong, those passing numbers alone are not very impressive but if you put them alongside his rushing and receiving stats then they carry a bit of weight towards his accomplishments overall as a Wildcat.

Bowden was #2 in the SEC in yards from scrimmage in 2019 & #10 in the entire NCAA. It’s one thing to dominate like this at the college level but the NFL is a whole nother beast…I believe Bowden will be a WR 1st so i will be evaluating him as such.

WR Breakdown

Release Vs. Press

Bowden features a good combination of quick feet and patience at the LOS. He is strong enough to not be bullied by physical corner backs. Bowden also has the quickness but need to see how he matches up with some more technical CBs at the next level.

Route Running

Bowden is dynamic in the fact that he runs routes from everywhere, slot, outside & out of the backfield. He understands defenses and knows where to attack zones. Bowden excels using a lot of quick breaking routes (speed outs/ins) where he uses his speed to create separation and find open space.

He excels with vertical routes, deep posts and deep corner routes and can thrive with the back shoulder fade. If he gets into a scheme where more precision/timing is needed, he will have to sharpen his route running up and become more than just an athlete out there.

Run After Catch

He will make his money at the next level in this category. Bowden has great burst and elite vision which I believe carries over from his time in the backfield. He’s strong, fast, physical and has good contact balance making him tough to bring down. Bowden will lower his shoulder on a defender and is strong enough and features the balance to plant the defender on his behind.

When close to the LOS running a screen concept, he’s not overly anxious to hit the jets. He scans the field quickly, finds his lane and then gets to it. Bowden has wiggle, if a defender puts himself in a bad position, and can make him miss. The dude totaled 1530 career rushing yards & 13 rushing TDs in the SEC, he’s clearly beyond capable.

Di Pan – The Missourian

Hands/Body Adjustment

Featuring strong concentration, Bowden is not affected by traffic. He can climb the ladder and high point the football. His ability can track the ball while in flight is impressive. Bowden adjusts to balls thrown low well with his body and his hand position.

Against Toledo in 2019 with 4th quarter with 9:10 remaining he ran a deep back shoulder fade against a defender is in good coverage. Then Bowden jumps up in a contested catch situation to grab the ball out of the air with the defenders hands in his face coming down with the completion.

In Kentucky’s game against Florida in 2019 during the 4th quarter with 2:20 remaining, he runs a 20 yard back shoulder with defender glued to him. With the ball thrown low and to the sideline Bowden stops on a dime, gets low, and keeps his feet in bounds to secure the catch.

Blocking

Would like to see more from him here. Not sure if they are running a lot of RPOs at Kentucky or if he’s just running off defenders to take them out of the play. Seems a little uninterested at times when the ball is being run.

Play Making Ability

Bowden makes plays, point blank period. The kid is a one man band making sweet music everywhere Kentucky lined him up. His elite vision, game breaking burst and slippery quickness was showcased on a regular basis.

He averaged 7.4 yards per carry on 206 rushing attempts. As a pass catcher, he averaged 11.4 yards per reception on 114 receptions. Bowden average 22.9 yards on 71 career kickoff returns.

He looks natural as a runner out of the backfield and carries that skill set over to his YAC ability. He will wow you with his contested/concentration catches and his ability to gain additional yards after the catch.

Final Thoughts

Bowden is a gamer, he has that IT factor teams are looking for. I do not have him in my top 2 tiers at WR in this class but this WR class is a different animal than years past. Bowden will come in and contribute as a return man right away. I believe his toughness and willingness to play wherever he is needed will endear him to his coaching staff. He should see playing time as a gadget guy early on and if he earns his QBs trust he could become a spark to that offense.

Projected Draft Round: 3rd/4th

Question Mark: Can he become a better route runner and truly challenge defensive backs at the next level. Getting schemed open is one thing but having the ability to set up defenders and get open on a regular basis is something he needs to be able to do.

Comp: Hines Ward, Randell Cobb, Curtis Samuel, and Tony Pollard

Team Fit: Seattle, Oakland, Green Bay, and Detroit

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: