With the regular season nearing its end, the early returns on the Las Vegas Raiders‘ draft class haven’t been great. There hasn’t been a single player to stand out as a future star quite yet. However, one player the Raiders drafted is starting to show potential. The problem is that he’s no longer with the team.
Las Vegas traded third-round pick Lynn Bowden Jr. to the Miami Dolphins for a fourth-round pick prior to the start of the season. There were a number of reasons why he was traded but it most likely had to do with the fact that the Raiders didn’t think he was a good fit.
The start of his stint in Miami wasn’t very good. In five games, he had one catch for negative one yard. He seems to have flipped a switch recently. In his last three games, Bowden has 17 catches for 160 yards. Those aren’t star wide receiver numbers but it’s production the Raiders could use. The Dolphins head to Las Vegas this week and the Raiders will get to see what they traded away. Head coach Jon Gruden offered his thoughts on Bowden’s recent rise.
“He’s got to play because they’ve had some injuries,” Gruden said. “Obviously, they’re using him in the slot, they’re using some gadget plays and we’ll see if we see Lynn … I’m happy for him – glad he found a role.”
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Too Early to Question Raiders’ Decision
Now, the whole Bowden situation is a really bad look for the Raiders. They used a third-round pick to get him and only got a fourth in return without ever seeing him play. Even if Bowden is a total bust, they deserve some heat because they’re the team that drafted him.
However, it’s far too early to suggest that the trade was a bad idea. Bowden has played well in recent weeks but the Dolphins have been riddled with injuries at wide receiver. There’s no guarantee Bowden would have half as many catches if Miami wasn’t banged up. If he turns out to be a stud, then it was a colossally boneheaded move by Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock to trade him.
How Bowden Compares to Raiders Rookie WRs
If Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards were having better seasons, nobody in Las Vegas would really care what Bowden’s doing. Unfortunately, the Raiders rookies haven’t been overly impressive. Ruggs has shown flashes of being an elite deep threat but hasn’t had more than three catches in a single game this season. Thanks to his competitiveness, he’ll probably work very hard in the offseason and come back strong next season.
There was a lot of hype around Edwards being a steal for the Raiders. There were even some suggesting that he might end up being more productive than Ruggs for the team. In 10 games, Edwards has eight catches for 131 yards. He’d probably have a bigger role if it wasn’t for Nelson Agholor’s impressive season. As of right now, Bowden has more catches and yards than Edwards but isn’t really close to Ruggs when it comes to yards – he has 414 on the year.