Las Vegas Raiders Profile: Running Back Lynn Bowden Jr.

Hikaru Kudo

In the past, I’ve previewed every opponent for the Raiders this season and profiled every coach.

As we inch closer to Week 1, I am now profiling every player on the Raiders roster.

Today, we’re profiling rookie running back Lynn Bowden Jr.

Bowden isn’t just a Running Back

Yesterday, I wrote an article talking about how running back Lynn Bowden Jr. could potentially play a factor in the quarterback position.

Today, I want to dive a little bit deeper into Bowden.

Bowden played as a wide receiver for the Wildcats for three seasons, before leaving college early to enter the draft.

That’s right. Bowden is literally going to play a position he didn’t even play at Kentucky.

During his career in the Bluegrass State, he received 114 passes for 1,303 yards. Bowden averaged 11.4 yards per reception and scored six receiving touchdowns during his career.

What’s crazy is that last season, Bowden took over as quarterback mid-season after starter Terry Wilson suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2 while backup Sawyer Smith suffered shoulder and wrist injuries.

Bowden won the SEC rushing title with 1,468 yards, led the nation with 7.9 yards per carry, was ranked fifth in all-purpose yards per game and scored 13 touchdowns. He went 6-2 as quarterback.

Because of his efforts, Bowden won the Paul Hornung Award, which recognizes the nation’s top versatile player. In addition, he was selected to the 2019 First-Team All American and All-SEC teams.

Entering the NFL, he’s no longer a wide receiver but was recategorized as a running back. And apparently, he’s a quarterback too.

Offensive coordinator Greg Olson revealed Tuesday to reporters that Bowden is learning “a lot of things” in the quarterback position.

It all has to do with creating a versatile and effectively position-less player, something that Bowden was honored for last season.

"You see the game changing from year to year, the use of the RPOs (run-pass options) and the use of the Taysom Hills, those type of players that played the RPO-style offense in college, they become valuable,” Olson said.

The RPO, which is more frequent in college football than the NFL, is starting to become more common place. If a team is able to play an RPO-style offense on command, that brings another offensive weapon for coach Jon Gruden to use at his fingertips.

In order to potentially execute an RPO-style offense, they need a quarterback capable of doing that.

Since Bowden will be that guy, that’s why Olson and co. are having him learn the quarterback position.

Bowden is perhaps a player with the most value from this year’s draft, even over fellow rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III because of his versatility.

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