After adding Henry Ruggs with their first selection of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday night, the Raiders continued to overhaul their receiving corps Friday by adding Kentucky wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. with the No. 80 overall pick in the third round.
Bowden Jr., 22, is one of the most intriguing players available in the draft. Though expected to play receiver in the NFL, he played receiver, running back and quarterback at various times during his collegiate career. During his junior season last year, he passed for 403 yards and three touchdowns, ran 185 times for 1,468 yards and 13 touchdowns, and caught 30 balls for another 348 receiving yards and an additional score. He is the definition of a Swiss Army knife.
Listed at 5-foot-11 and 204 pounds, Bowden Jr. likely will take over a slot role in the Raiders' offense, which suddenly could be far more dynamic. With the speed demon Ruggs on the outside and standout tight end wreaking havoc in the middle of the field, coach Jon Gruden should be able to get more creative with his play-calling in 2020, and Bowden certainly adds to that. However, he'll have to improve his receiving technique if he hopes to become a big-time contributor. Right now, he is more of an athlete than a receiver.
Many expected the Raiders to jump up into the second round Friday to acquire a more in-demand prospect, but that never happened. Given that Las Vegas arguably had bigger needs than a project receiver, the Bowden selection was a bit curious. In what likely is the deepest receiver draft of all time, it was a bit of a reach midway through the third round.
For those reasons, and the fact that the Raiders doubled down and chose another receiver with the very next pick, they get dinged.
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Raiders 2020 NFL Draft grades: Lynn Bowden was curious pick at No. 80 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area