Lynn Bowden Jr. was one of the high-potential selections made by the Raiders in April, but he won't make it to the regular-season field in Silver and Black.
The Raiders are trading Bowden and a sixth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for a fourth-round selection, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The selection headed to Las Vegas is the same pick the Raiders sent to Miami in a trade for linebacker Raekwon McMillan less than a week ago, and it's a rare occurrence in that a third-round pick was dealt for a lesser selection in the same year in which he was drafted.
Bowden's positional ambiguity might have hurt him in Las Vegas. The all-purpose playmaker who took over at quarterback halfway through his final season at Kentucky began his NFL career as a running back, while also learning a little bit of the position at which he set multiple Kentucky records. It was part of a plan put in place by general manager Mike Mayock following the draft.
"You see the game changing from year to year, the use of the RPOs (run-pass options) and the use of the Taysom Hills, those type of players that played the RPO-style offense in college, they become valuable," Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said of Bowden in early August, via the team's official website. "We believe that he can transition and be a running back, as well as do some of those plays at the quarterback position that he did in college."
The chance to develop a versatile, position-less weapon apparently didn't last very long, with the Raiders instead pulling the plug on the effort and sending Bowden and the late-round pick to get back the selection they used to add to their linebacking corps.
Bowden might find himself in a better position to impact the game in Miami, which could use playmakers at running back and receiver. Bowden recorded 1,303 receiving yards in three seasons at Kentucky, and he could end up as a running back who finds himself splitting out wide fairly often in order to create defensive mismatches.
Bowden seems like the type of player who might have really benefited from preseason action. We won't know for sure about his trajectory until they start to play the games. For now, though, he's trading silver and black for aqua and orange.