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Why The Addition of Lynn Bowden Jr. Does/Doesn’t Make Sense For Miami

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Since the pre-draft days, I’ve been extremely interested in the future of wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr.

Capable of lining up at receiver, running back, quarterback and special teams, the flexibility and potential this former Kentucky Wildcat holds are nearly limitless.

The Miami Dolphins saw that in Bowden Jr., too, showing “considerable” interest in the 2019 Paul Hornung Award winner prior to the NFL Draft.

However, having been picked 80th by the Las Vegas Raiders, the Dolphins weren’t willing to make a move on him quick enough, instead using a seventh-round pick to select Malcolm Perry, known for his ability to be used in multiple positions.

That didn’t stop Miami from ultimately pushing for Bowden Jr., trading defensive end Raekwon McMillan and a 2021 fifth-round pick for the versatile rookie and a 2021 fourth-round pick on Saturday.

Planning to be prioritized at wide receiver, I question why the Dolphins prefer him on the 53-man roster than another receiver like Kirk Merritt.

Mind you, Bowden Jr. is better known for his rushing, totaling an SEC-leading 1,468 yards on 185 attempts (7.9 per carry) and 13 touchdowns his junior season. His rushing averages placed him 11th on the FBS rushing list, an extremely remarkable statistic considering that he started at quarterback for just eight games, recording a 6-2 record.

On the receiving end, Bowden’s prime moments came in 2018, recording 67 receptions for 745 yards and 5 touchdowns at the slot. Compare that to Merritt’s 70 catches for 806 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, deserving of All-Sun Belt conference honors, and it’s a competition that could go both ways.

Even if Miami wanted to use him as a wildcat option, similar to New Orleans’ Taysom Hill, don’t they already have Perry to make those plays and more at the slot with Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson out?

While I don’t doubt the talent Bowden Jr. possesses, or his struggles during his short stint with the Raiders, I simply don’t see how he’ll fit into Miami’s scheme in such short notice.

Yet again, he could be a plan for the future.

Miami has tested the waters in search of the perfect suitors on numerous positions as of late. First with Josh Rosen, in which they sent a second-round pick to Arizona, and recently with their 2020 fifth-round pick Curtis Weaver, who Miami waived in late August.

Coach Brian Flores has advocated for more position-less players on the defensive side and could be implementing that offensively.

As his college coach Mark Stoops has said on Bowden, he’s “an Alpha Dog,” something that today’s league dearly admires. As the 22-year-old continues growing his knowledge and skillset for what’s at hand, Flores and the Dolphins might have themselves a hidden gem.

Michael Yero covers the Miami Heat, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Dolphins and South Florida High School sports for 305Sports. He’s born and raised in Miami, currently attending Immaculata LaSalle High School.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. TODD LINCOLN

    September 7, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Bowden has a thicker frame and he can move from the slot to rb in a heavy alignment with Howard as lead back in the same way they are cross training Breida. I don’t think Perry will be able to bulk up to 200 and keep his innate quickness, and this may be why the Dolphins are investing in Bowden. Considering Merritt has the reputation for the same kind of open field wiggle, MIA may be simply using Bowden to replace Grant as the primary PR and move Grant with Callaway becoming eligible shortly. Callaway is an upgrade on Grant as a WR, Bowden is an upgrade on Grant as a PR and is a better RB prospect than Perry. However both Perry and Bowden have QB backgrounds which can make the backfield alignment very unique and unpredictable if they are on the field at the same time. Louis didn’t play ST, and Bowden clearly does. What we don’t know is how Merritt performed in fielding the ball on KR or PR but I’m pretty certain its not as extensive as Bowden’s. Versatility is king on this team. If Merritt can convert to RB, I’d expect him to be in the conversation to move up to the team at some point.

    • Michael Yero

      September 7, 2020 at 10:11 pm

      Completely agree with you on Bowden Jr. belong Miami become more versatile. Now, will it lead to the Dolphins getting rid of Grant at WR and as a PR? Not in my opinion.

  2. Sticks

    September 7, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    Let’s get the facts straight. The only reason Bowden had only 30 receptions last year is because he was asked if he would move to Qb ( with 7 games remaining) cause of and injury. His sophomore year he had 67 catches in the slot. That’s where he is best suited. I think Greer has done a phenomenal job acquiring talent that fits our scheme. I also believe there are several players on our practice squad that could very well make an impact before the year is over.

    • Michael Yero

      September 7, 2020 at 10:09 pm

      He did a great job at the slot in 2018, but is it worthy of the spot over Kirk Merritt?

      Yet again, I understand why they chose Bowden Jr. over Merritt. He’s way more versatile and would be a great addition at any given position. I see it both ways.

  3. ANTHONY OLIVA

    September 7, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    This new Fins regime is determined to keep bringing in competition until they know they found the answer. They drafted Tua after trading a 2nd for Rosen, they took a flier on Weaver then let him go right away when he didn’t show anything, now they add Bowden after taking Perry with a pick from the draft. The idea is to keeping bringing in players not knowing which will click. The last regime would take a Dallas Thomas and count on him for 3 years..

    • Anthony Yero

      September 7, 2020 at 8:33 pm

      Totally agree. Like Michael said in the article, it’s an investment that has the potential to pay off in the long run. Never know how great a player like Bowden Jr. can be until you test him out.

  4. Rich McQuillen

    September 7, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    At 5’11, 202 lbs with 4.38 speed…. he is a little bit short and fat without gamechanging speed. He has a similar skillset to Malcolm Perry.

    At QB, you generally look for 6’2″. Same with #1/#2 WR. As a slot, you generally want a 190lber. He’s a little interesting as a 3rd down Running back who can catch out of the backfield. He’s a little interesting as a mobile backup QB; he’s not Tua, but maybe post-fitzpatrick, he could move back. We’ll see if we get a Jim Jenson out of him or Perry.

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