In last month’s NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders made it a point of emphasis to address their offensive needs, and provide quarterback Derek Carr with a multitude of weapons.
With the 12th overall pick in the draft, they took speedster Henry Ruggs III out of the University of Alabama, giving them an instant big-play, vertical threat.
While Ruggs III will get all the attention, and rightfully so, the Raiders have another rookie — Lynn Bowden Jr., –who will be used in a variety of ways this upcoming season.
Bowden, the former Kentucky Wildcat, was taken with the 80th overall pick in the third round. He can play quarterback, wide receiver, and running back.
Last season at the University of Kentucky, the dual-threat signal-caller rushed for a career-high 1,468 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also had 30 receptions for 348 yards and three touchdowns, along with 403 passing yards and three touchdowns.
With that type of production, Bowden was awarded the Paul Hornung Award, which goes to the nation’s top versatile player, and named to the first-team All-American.
It goes without saying, but the Raiders are excited to see what the versatile Bowden can do.
“Ultimately, he’ll probably be what we call a ‘joker,’ which is what I love in Jon’s offense,” Raiders GM Mike Mayock said (h/t Paul Gutierrez of ESPN). “It’s somebody who can do multiple jobs. But day one, he’s going to come in and be a running back.”
According to Guiterrez, the Raiders envision Bowden as running back and punt returner. As things stand, Oakland has three other running backs on their roster — Josh Jacobs, Jalen Richard, and newly signed Devontae Booker.
However, none of those players listed bring the type of excitement and versatility that Bowden does. That being said, the 6-foot-1 offensive playmaker is ready to make some noise with his new squad.
“I feel like I’m going to wake the world up,” he said. “It’s only a matter of time.”