Despite numerous rumors and reactions that have come out, the Las Vegas Raiders have taken some heat for their decision to trade third-round pick Lynn Bowden Jr. General manager Mike Mayock came out and said it was “purely a football decision” but it’s hard to imagine there wasn’t more than went into the trade.
Vince Marrow, an associate head coach at Kentucky, defended Bowden and ripped the Raiders in the process.
@LynnBowden_1 is one of the best football players I’ve been around he’s not a running back he’s a Wr who can make plays. He’s also a very intelligent football player so just remember this is the same team who passed on @JoshAllen41_ enough said. Go Big Blue.
— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) September 6, 2020
Marrow isn’t the only person to come out in support of Bowden’s intelligence as a football player. By most accounts, it doesn’t sound like the Raiders had a problem with his football IQ. However, it sounds like his athleticism was underwhelming when he made the switch to running back, he was bad in pass protection and wasn’t showing the kind of off the field determination that the Raiders like in a player.
Why Raiders Passed on Josh Allen
When the Raiders took Clelin Ferrell with the fourth overall pick in 2019, many questioned the decision because former Kentucky pass rusher Josh Allen was still on the board, as Marrow noted. Allen ended up having a better rookie year than Ferrell which has given the people who questioned the pick more ammo.
Head coach Jon Gruden has actually addressed the decision in the past.
“He really was (close). He was a big part of our thought process there,” Gruden said about Allen last year, via Sports Illustrated.
Gruden went on to discuss why Allen wasn’t a fit.
“We are a 4-3 defensive team and we really had no pure defensive ends on our team. And we wanted to take Josh because of his obvious pass rushing ability, but we needed a six-technique — a guy that could play on first down. Not that Josh can’t, but we needed what we felt was a pure 4-3 defensive end.
“We wish we could have taken Josh and Clelin honestly. It was a tough decision, and I know Jacksonville has a good young player there that is a great kid too,” Gruden said.
Reviews have been good for Ferrell this offseason so perhaps he can change a lot of minds in 2020. Allen is clearly a good player with a strong career ahead of him, but Ferrell could still end up being a better player. It’s way too early to tell.
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Is Bowden Miss Cause for Concern?
It takes a lot of courage for a general manager to admit he made a mistake on a draft pick before he ever plays a game. However, that doesn’t mean that Mayock doesn’t deserve to take some heat. He took the blame for the move but it’s unclear how exactly the dynamic between him and Gruden works. They likely both deserve blame.
Mayock is still young as a general manager and he’s done a strong job for the most part. That said, the Bowden whiff is certainly a red flag. The Raiders better hope that Damon Arnette and Henry Ruggs are key contributors quickly so that we can all forget about Bowden.