Why Raiders WR Lynn Bowden Has Great Long-Term Dynasty Potential
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Lynn Bowden
Lynn Bowden Dynasty Rookie Analysis
- Position: WR | School: Kentucky
- Height: 5’11″ | Weight: 204 pounds
- 2020 Age: 23 | Class: Junior
- Recruitment Stars: 3-4
- Draft Position: 3.80 (Raiders)
Lynn Bowden’s Fantasy Fit with Raiders
The Raiders already have wide receivers Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller — and in the 2020 draft they have also added wide receivers Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards with top-100 picks — so Bowden probably won’t do much as a rookie beyond return kicks.
But Bowden has some long-term potential: Williams underwhelmed last year, and with another mediocre performance this year, the Raiders could decide to cut him.
If that happens, Bowden would have a shot to beat out Edwards for a starting job. Although Edwards is more of a traditional receiver, Bowden had superior production in college. In the end, production wins.
Lynn Bowden: Dynasty Analysis
My mom’s name is Lynn … and I might love Lynn Bowden more than my mother. If she had won the 2019 Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s top all-purpose player and been named a first-team All-American for her all-around play, maybe I’d appreciate her.
But let’s get down to business.
Bowden was a high-school dual-threat quarterback who rushed for 2,277 yards, passed for 1,366 yards and scored 57 total touchdowns as a senior, but he was recruited to college as a converted wide receiver.
After playing as a supplementary offensive weapon and return man as a freshman …
- Receiving: 17-210-0
- Rushing: 12-37-0
- Passing: 3-of-4 for 92 yards, 0-1 TD:INT ratio
- Kick Returning: 37-869-0
… Bowden broke out as a sophomore slot man with a team-leading 67-745-5 receiving line, to which he added 9-25-0 rushing and two punt return touchdowns. For the season, he had a 79.5 Pro Football Focus receiving grade and was a dynamic after-the-catch producer with 7.7 YAC per reception and 17 missed tackles forced as a receiver.
As a junior, Bowden was poised to build upon his previous pass-catching campaign, but in the middle of the team’s fifth game, he had to shift to quarterback because of injuries, and he stayed there for the rest of the season, going 6-2 as the starter and leading Kentucky to the postseason and a bowl victory.
While Bowden failed to impress as a passer — he went 32-of-70 passing for just 364 yards and a 3-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio as a starter — he absolute crushed as a wildcat runner.
In his eight full games at quarterback, Bowden rushed for 1,369 yards and 13 touchdowns on 172 attempts. He led all non-running backs with his 87.2 PFF rushing grade, and he bested most backs with his 0.3 broken tackles per carry.
And what did Bowden do in the first four games of 2019, before the team needed him to shift to quarterback? He had 385 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 27 receptions and seven carries: 385 yards in four games — not bad.
With Bowden, the worry is that he’s more of an offensive weapon than an actual receiver and that he’ll need to be schemed the ball on screens, short routes, jet sweeps, wildcat carries and maybe even traditional halfback runs. He’s neither a great route runner nor an explosive athlete, and because of his 2019 play at quarterback, he might be destined to be an NFL gadget player.
But he’s my kind of receiver: His versatility speaks to his overall skill set and on-field ability, and he’s a smart, tough football player who simply finds a way to produce.
And it’s not as if Bowden is a quarterback pretending to be a receiver. As a sophomore, he had a dominant 30% target share while playing 85% of his snaps in the slot (per the 2020 Sports Info Solutions Football Rookie Handbook).
He’s an actual wide receiver.
With his college production, versatility and draft position, Bowden actually might be this year’s Deebo Samuel. He’s unlikely ever to be a No. 1 receiver, but Bowden could have a couple of top-24 fantasy seasons.
NFL Prospect Comp: Randall Cobb but older and thicker
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Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs, part of The Action Network.