The Bills had formal and informal meetings at the combine with one of the many Swiss Army knife players in the entire draft in Lynn Bowden Jr. from the University of Kentucky. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound athlete played multiple positions but projects as a wide receiver in the NFL.
Coming out of high school, Bowden was lauded as a 4-star athlete and was comfortably in the top 100 prospects on several recruiting platforms.
In his final year at Kentucky, he showcased dynamic versatility and saw game experience as a quarterback, wide receiver, and running back. The chances that Bowden plays quarterback at the next level are slim to none after showing mediocre talent as a passer. In 2019, he threw for 403 passing yards with three total touchdowns, but his 47.3% completion percentage likely will force him to convert to receiver or running back.
This bodes well for the Bills because he did get considerable reps a wide receiver, specifically from the slot. Per Pro Football Focus, Bowden took 88% of his collegiate snaps at wide receiver from the slot. In 2019, he caught 30 passes for 348 yards and one touchdown thanks to his short area quickness and ability to make defenders miss. A further testament to his elusiveness, Bowden broke 48 tackles on 166 designed runs in 2019.
That’s why on certain situations on Sundays, he can also be utilized as a running back. Over the course of his career, Bowden rushed for 1,530 yards and 15 touchdowns, most of which came in his final season. Last year, Bowden registered 1,468 yards on the ground and 13 touchdowns, but again, that was mostly racked up when he was the starting quarterback.
Lynn Bowden Jr. projects as a wide receiver in the NFL, but his tape at QB in 2019 is a ton of fun. Patient, balanced and elusive #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/u3Qt1fNaU4
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) February 17, 2020
Lynn Bowden is an elusive, play-making threat who is adept at evading contact in the open field or between the tackles in gap schemes. While his natural position is wide receiver, he has shown an incredible competitive spirit, managing to even switch to quarterback in order to put his team in the most advantageous position to win games. As the Bills search for upgraded weapons to complement Josh Allen’s skill-set, Lynn Bowden is certainly an intriguing prospect who fits the mold. His short-area quickness pre- and post-catch elusiveness are exactly what the Bills are looking for.
Brian Daboll could utilize him on jet sweeps, in the screen game, and as a wildcat quarterback in power-esque schemes. His ability to make plays downfield and diminish pursuit angles make his acclimation into any scheme relatively simple.
Defensively, the Bills offer one of the most disciplined, physical units in the NFL. Their offense, however, needs to catch up by adding explosive options going forward. While I do feel like there will be possession-based receivers added in the draft or free agency, Bowden could be a start in creating a group of athletes that complement everything the Bills’ scheme and quarterback have to offer.