Raiders GM Mike Mayock Explained the Complicated Development of Lynn Bowden Jr.

Lynn Bowden Jr. was drafted by the Raiders to play a special role in Jon Gruden’s offense, but reports from training camp have indicated that Bowden Jr. hasn’t necessarily been standing out to this point.

Certainly aware of the media critiques on Bowden Jr., Raiders GM Mike Mayock addressed the reasons why the team is going to be patient with their versatile third-round pick from Kentucky.

“We’re asking him to play a completely different position. We’re putting a lot on his plate,” Mayock told season ticket holders last week on a conference call.

“He’s got running plays, he’s got punts returns, we’re going to ask him to catch the ball, so we’re asking an awful lot of this young man. Any time you ask a college player to play a different position it’s called a projection and you’ve got to give them some time. That’s the way I feel about Lynn. Lynn has come in and done everything we’ve asked. We just have to continue to give him the time to learn to convert to a running back primarily. And he’s never been that before.”

Other players on the Raiders roster have talked about the challenges of learning Gruden’s offense and as a rookie, Bowden Jr. figures to have an even greater learning curve – especially since Gruden plans to move him all over the field. Considering where he was drafted, Bowden Jr. is guaranteed to make the roster. His role at the beginning of the year, however, figures to be limited.

But at some point, hopefully this season, teams will need to account for Bowden Jr. much more often. Gruden has been looking for a true “Joker” in his offense since he arrived three years ago. If all goes as planned, he finally has a player that can assume that role sooner than later.

twitter: @raidersbeat