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.
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.