The Las Vegas Raiders clearly weren’t content with just taking one wide receiver in the draft as they selected Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden with their first third-round pick. What makes Bowden standout is that he’s a very versatile player. While ESPN listed him as a wide receiver, he also can play running back and quarterback.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Raiders plan on using Bowden as a running back to start, but all options are on the table.
The Raiders weren’t done adding playmakers with the Bowden pick as they also selected wide receiver Bryan Edwards out of South Carolina. Edwards isn’t as speedy as Henry Ruggs, but he’s a big body at 6’3. He’s also got good strength and solid route-running ability. A popular comparison for him is Courtland Sutton. An injury made him slide in the draft, but he could end up being a steal.
Highlights of Explosive New RB Drafted at No. 80 [WATCH]
Bowden is going to be an interesting weapon for the Raiders. He was the 2019 Paul Hornung Award winner which is awarded to the NCAA’s most versatile player. He was also the SEC’s leader in rushing with 1,468 rushing yards.
Bowden is the type of player that will allow the Raiders to get very creative. He’s an exciting talent and should line up all over the field. Josh Jacobs needed a backup and Bowden will provide a solid option. He’s got some work to do, but he’s going to make plays.
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Highlights for Bryan Edwards [WATCH]
The Raiders went into the draft hoping to add playmakers and they’ve definitely done just that. By selecting Edwards, the team now has a bigger body to line up with Henry Ruggs.
Vic Tafur of The Athletic did an analysis of the top Raiders draft option at wide receiver and here’s what he said about Edwards:
“Edwards missed the final two games of last season due to a knee injury and then broke his foot in February while training for the combine, so he may slip a little bit. His size and route-running ability have led to a popular comp to the Broncos’ Courtland Sutton, but Edwards may have more twitchiness than that. He uses his big body well but had a small issue with drops in college.”
Las Vegas has clearly focused on offense early in this draft. That’s a bit interesting considering they struggled quite a bit on defense last season. That said, the team spent a ton of money on defenders during free agency and upgraded a number of units. The Raiders understand that the only way to beat the Kansas City Chiefs is going to be to outscore them. It remains to be seen if the team’s offense can keep up with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, but they are taking steps in the right direction.
The Raiders relied on veterans in the receiving corps last season, but that’s not going to be the case in 2020. Derek Carr suddenly will have a few shiny new toys to play around with.