After taking over the quarterback position in his third and final year at Kentucky, Lynn Bowden Jr. managed to break the school record for most rushing yards by a quarterback (1,369 in eight games) and most 100-yard rushing games in a single season by a QB (seven) en route to First-Team All-America and All-SEC honors.
Seeing how dominant the dynamic playmaker is with the ball in his hands, the Las Vegas Raiders drafted Bowden with the No. 80 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and immediately listed him as a running back.
Just over three months after adding Bowden to the roster, the team is now openly discussing the Youngstown, OH native as a potential quarterback option, utilizing him the same way Kentucky did this past season.
“Right now, we have him working out of the running backs room,” Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson told reporters Tuesday. “He’s meeting with Kirby Wilson, the running backs coach, but also he’s had to learn a lot of things that we do at the quarterback position.”
However they can make it happen, the Raiders want to make sure they can put the ball in Bowden’s hands.
“You see the game changing from year to year, the use of the RPOs (run-pass options) and the use of the Taysom Hills, those type of players that played the RPO-style offense in college, they become valuable,” Olson said. “… We believe that he can transition and be a running back, as well as do some of those plays at the quarterback position that he did in college.”
After drafting the star playmaker in the third round, the Raiders said they planned on using Bowden in a ‘joker’ role, one that allows him to take on multiple jobs and make a difference all over the field.
Needless to say, he may have a running back tag next to his name officially, but Vegas plans to milk his versatility for all its worth.
“Ultimately, he’ll probably be what we call a ‘joker,’ which is what I love in Jon [Gruden]’s offense,” Las Vegas GM Mike Mayock told ESPN. “It’s somebody who can do multiple jobs. But day one, he’s going to come in and be a running back.
“In the SEC two years ago, he caught 60-70 passes as a slot [receiver]. Last year, as you guys know, he was quarterback/wildcat … we think he’s one of the most athletic, tougher guys in this year’s draft. We’re going to train him to be running back. If he’s able to do that job, we’ll be able [to] do some other things with him — move him around, let him catch the football.”