WR Lynn Bowden Jr., Kentucky*

5’11” – 204 lbs.

Played quarterback in high school, but transitioned to being a wide receiver, return specialist, and wildcat quarterback when he arrived at Kentucky. Served as the primary kick returner and caught 17-210-0 (12.4) as a freshman. Production as a receiver jumped to 67-745-5 (11.1) the following year, and also returned two punts for touchdowns. Was pressed into duty as the team’s starting quarterback for some of his junior year, finishing with 403 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions through the air (47.3%), along with 185-1,468-13 (7.9) rushing and 30-348-1 (11.6) receiving. Decided to declare for the draft afterward. On the small side for a quarterback, but pretty much in line with what teams look for in a receiver and return specialist, so he’s considered likely to transition to receiver. Basically operated an option-based offense out of pistol/shotgun looks, with a lot of draws mixed in; arm talent is nothing special, so this evaluation will focus on his viability as a receiver prospect. As a receiver, usually lined up in the slot, although he did take some snaps on the boundary as well. Ability to release at the line of scrimmage is pretty good given his relative lack of experience at wide receiver. However, it would be nice to see him show more explosiveness as a route-runner, as he doesn’t have a lot of snap or speed coming out of his breaks to separate against man coverage. Was most frequently making himself available to catch screens out of trips formations on run-pass option playcalls, but did glide through some rounded-off slant routes and seam patterns as well. Clearly has some natural receiving ability. Appears to have pretty soft hands, with a wider radius than anticipated because of his ability to leap and catch the ball away from his frame. Very competitive at the catch point. Greatest asset as a player is clearly his ability to create as a runner with the ball in his hands, whether as a wildcat quarterback, receiver, or return man. A very elusive player who can get low and use his quickness to make defenders miss in one-on-one situations. Vision and ability to navigate through congestion are impressive. Top end speed is just good, but reaches it quickly. Could do a better job of protecting his body, as he finishes his runs with the type of toughness and physicality you like to see, but which is concerning given his frame. Handled some of the most varied responsibilities of any player in the class, offering return ability right out of the gate, along with the raw talent to eventually play in the slot and in special packages with some more polish.

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