Look, the only people who are higher than me on Lynn Bowden Jr. going into April’s draft, are Kentucky Wildcat fans. Throughout his three seasons playing for the Wildcats, Bowden showed incredible versatility to play multiple offensive positions at a high level. He was a return specialist, quarterback, running back, and wide receiver which is the position he’s entering the draft as. This versatility allowed him to win the 2019 Paul Hornung Award. He was one of the SEC’s most exciting players and unfortunately, has been overlooked by the national media.
Last season, his junior year, Bowden put up numbers that are actually ridiculous to look at. In 2019, he ran for 1,468 yards and 13 touchdowns with an average of 7.9 yards per carry. He also caught 30 passes for 1 touchdowns and threw 74 of them for 403 yards and 3 touchdowns. Even though his receiving numbers didn’t blow anybody out of the water in 2019, he showcased his ability as a receiver more in 2018. That year, he caught 67 passes for 745 yards and 5 touchdowns.
As stated before, Bowden was Kentucky’s primary return man. For his college career, he returned 71 kickoffs for an average of 22.9 yards per return. He only returned 9 punts for Kentucky but brought 2 of them back for touchdowns and averaged 22.1 yards per return.
At 6’1” 199 pounds, Bowden will have to put on a few pounds to be as effective as possible at the next level. However, he already has an outstanding base to build off of. The strengths when it comes to Bowden are obvious. He is an electric return man, he has great vision as a ball carrier, and he’s one of the most elusive players in the 2020 draft. He has also ran a 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds according to Kentucky officials. When it comes to Bowden’s weaknesses, he is a jack of all trades but a master of none. He can do a little bit of everything but when it comes to his main position, wide receiver, he is a below average route runner. He is not as polished of a receiver as a team would like out of a prospect.
At the next level, Lynn Bowden projects to be a slot receiver who can make an immediate impact. He is also able to step into other positions offensively, much like Randall Cobb is able to do. Although, his ability to return kicks and punts is the skill which will allow him to get on the field immediately for any team in the NFL.
Lynn Bowden has mostly been projected to be drafted anytime with the late third round or early fifth round. His main NFL comparison is Antwaan Randle El who ended up having a really nice 9-year career in the league but who knows at his best, Bowden could also draw comparisons to Tyreek Hill. If the Packers drafted Bowden in the mid rounds, they would be adding an element of explosiveness they didn’t have on offense last season. Bowden can help bolster Green Bay’s depleted receiving corps and he could also be the return specialist of the future. Whatever the Packers would decide to do with Bowden, he would be a nice addition to a team who’s looking for explosiveness out of their wide receivers.