2020 NFL Draft: Kentucky WR/ATH Lynn Bowden Jr. scouting report

The 2020 NFL Draft is loaded with playmakers, but Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden Jr. can literally do it all. We’ll take a look at what makes Bowden so special.

The 2020 NFL Draft has plenty of playmakers, but there’s none as unique as Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden Jr. Bowden was a well known wide receiver heading into the 2019 season and was looking to improve off his productive 2018 season.

However, five games into the 2019 season Kentucky’s starting quarterback went down and Lynn Bowden was asked to step up and play the position. It took some time for him to get settled in, but when he did he would go on to post some incredible numbers on the ground.

Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 199 pounds
Career Numbers (from scrimmage): 320 plays from scrimmage, 2,833 yards, 19 touchdowns.
Return yards: 70 kick returns, 1,591 yards, 11 punt returns, 199 yards, 2 touchdowns.

Film Assessment

Game film: 2019 vs Georgia, 2019 vs Arkansas, 2018 vs Penn State, 2018 vs Georgia

I couldn’t just scout Lynn Bowden strictly as a wide receiver, because he’s clearly more than just a route runner. There can be parts of Bowden’s game that he can take to the next level and become one of the most versatile players in the NFL.

The league has been known to be ever-changing, but it sometimes will revert back to things that we have seen in the past. For instance, the wildcat was a trend in the early 2000s that Tony Sparano made popular with the Dolphins. There have been some teams that may sprinkle some variation of that here and there, but it’s been pretty much ripped out of the playbook.

In Today’s NFL there’s still trickery but in different ways. We’ve seen the “Philly Special” in the Eagles Super Bowl win over New England where quarterback Nick Foles caught a touchdown pass from tight end, Trey Burton. Lynn Bowden can be used in plays like that where it’s a reverse trick play and he has the option of throwing it or just keeping it and run.

Lynn Bowden, the wide receiver, is just as versatile. He can line up in the slot or out wide. Bowden does a decent enough job breaking in and out of his routes but his routes should be crisper. He has strong, reliable hands, but the magic happens after the catch.

Bowden’s run after catch ability is phenomenal. Put the ball in his hands and he instantly becomes a weapon. Bowden tracks the ball pretty well using his size to create separation between the ball and defender. He has plus speed and quickness that is showcased on screens and underneath routes. Not only can Bowden contribute on offense, but he can be a very exciting kick and punt returner.

The bottom line is there’s nobody in the 2020 NFL Draft more versatile than Lynn Bowden Jr. He’s played every playmaking position you can think of and impressed out of his element. Whether it be catching, running or throwing Bowden does what is best for the team. He’s a winner first and foremost and will do anything for his team to win.

Although he only caught 30 passes this season, there’s enough tape from 2018 to conclude that Bowden can contribute right away as a receiver. I currently have a third-round grade on him, but his stock can certainly rise even more after the scouting combine where he can show off his athleticism.

Team Fits

I’m sure a bunch of teams could use Lynn Bowden Jr’s versatility, but I’ll narrow it down to three teams.

New York Jets

The Jets offense was very stale at times, mostly because Adam Gase lacked any creativity in his play calls. I’m sure most of it was due to poor offensive line play, but there should still be some creativity. Enter Lynn Bowden, the most versatile offensive player in the draft.

Bowden would allow Gase to open up his playbook and take some pressure off of Sam Darnold. Jets also lack any depth at wide receiver so it also fills a big need. Look for the Jets to add receivers early and often in the 2020 NFL Draft and they have four picks in the first three rounds.

Chicago Bears

Quarterback Mitch Trubisky took a big step back this season and it has led to Bears fans questioning whether he’s the right guy to lead the team. Spoiler: He’s not. However, it seems like Matt Nagy will roll with Trubisky as their starter for next season, meaning they’ll need to surround him with more weapons.

Nagy has shown to be a very creative play-caller and would undoubtedly have some fun finding ways to get Bowden the ball. Chicago already has Allen Robinson which will allow Nagy to be creative with Bowden.

Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson has rocked the NFL world with his insane performance this season. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman has done a fantastic job molding his offense around Lamar Jackson’s strengths and I believe adding Lynn Bowden to the mix could make it even scarier.

Next: Two-round 2020 NFL mock draft

The best thing about the offense is its unpredictable nature. The defense doesn’t know when Lamar will run, when he’ll hand it off to Mark Ingram or when he’ll put the ball back and throw. The Ravens could look to add multiple receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft and a playmaker like Lynn Bowden Jr. could open up the playbook even more.

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