NFL Draft Scouting Reports

Lynn Bowden Jr: 2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Lynn Bowden Jr #1 Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver

Steve Seufert | April 23rd, 2020

Lynn Bowden Jr, WR, #1

Height: 5’11

Weight: 204 pounds

Bowden Jr might be the most exciting player in the class. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and he’s willing to do anything for his team. In his final eight games of his junior season, Bowden Jr was asked to move to quarterback. Quarterback was a position Bowden Jr was familiar with in high school. The Kentucky Wildcats rode the coattail of Bowden Jr to a bowl victory over the pesky Virginia Tech Hokies.

Scouting Grades

Athletic Ability (5/7): Bowden Jr didn’t test at the combine and has an incomplete athletic profile. Based on his tape evaluation, Bowden plays like an athlete that would easily run in the 4.4 range. Extreme versatility with experience at the wide receiver position, running back, and at quarterback.

Play Speed (6/7): Quick acceleration as a zone-read quarterback and ball carrier. As a receiver, he has the burst and acceleration to scoot by opposing defensive backs. Although he’s not smooth in and out of his breaks, he has long speed at the top of his routes, potentially allowing him to line up on the boundary as a z-receiver. I would peg Bowden Jr as someone with very good play speed, just missing out on the elite grade.

Play Strength (7/7): Elite play strength for a player of his size, and I can’t stress that enough.  He’s an absolute hammer, combining that with ultra competitiveness. He certainly has some wiggle in the open field but he isn’t afraid to dip his shoulder and run through contact. The former Kentucky Wildcat has a low center of gravity and demonstrates excellent contact balance allowing him to rip through arm tackles.

Football IQ (6/7): Has zone-read experience as he took over at quarterback for the Wildcats.  He’s also played running back, carried the ball as a receiver, and played multiple receiver positions. This kid is an absolute gamer, willing to help his team at any cost and his mental capacity allows him to do such.

Competitive Toughness (7/7): When watching tape, he might be the most competitive prospect in the class. Turn on the bowl game against Virginia Tech. Before the game, he got into a huge altercation with the other team. He went on to carry his team to victory while playing his secondary position. At only 5’11, he’s extremely physical at the catch point. As a run blocker, his effort is unparalleled. Competitive toughness will check the box for every team, and it’s his best trait.

Hands (5/7): Strong hands at the catch point with very good manual dexterity. Sometimes he will show his hands too late, especially on kickoffs. This will be an easy fix when he hones into one position at the next level. He has no issues catching the ball away from his frame and has good body control when he is on the boundary.

Route Running (3/7):  Explosiveness and acceleration are there as a ball carrier but the short-area quickness is only solid as a route runner. He has difficulty getting in and out of breaks and lacks the ankle flexion to really separate at the top of his routes. He can threaten you deep thanks to his pure athletic ability but doesn’t have any pace in his routes. A lot of these things are fixable, he just hasn’t had the receiving experience that most of his counterparts have had.

RAC Ability (7/7): Borderline elite trait right here. He’s essentially a running back with the ball in his hands. His low center of gravity destroys arm tacklers, and he has the wiggle to make defenders miss. His ball carrying isn’t limited to just receiver, he can carry the ball when given structured touches to get him out in space. Might also be effective as a wildcat quarterback at the next level, like Randall Cobb.

Release (3/7):  He will struggle in this area due to the lack of short-area quickness and experience. Not a ton of tape on Bowden Jr facing press coverage so I can only give him a projection.

Separation Quickness (3/7): Doesn’t separate at the top of his stem. Lacks nuance, like pacing or using leverage to separate. Again, this is likely due to inexperience because his athletic profile indicates that he will have no issues doing such. He does have enough juice as a route runner to beat you vertically and can attack deeper levels of the field from the slot position.  Ideally, you want to keep him off the line of scrimmage and manufacturer a handful of touches a game.

Overview: Physical football player that will destroy you as a ball carrier. He’s looking to help his team any way he can. Ultra-competitive player looking to win football games. He has experience at quarterback, slot receiver, z-receiver, and as a returner.

Grade: 5.2 early second round

Comparison: Deebo Samuel/Randall Cobb

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Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images

 

 

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