Raiders GM Mike Mayock Told Story of Lynn Bowden’s Impressive Football IQ From the Combine

Lynn Bowden Jr. was a Raiders draft pick with one of the highest ceilings from the Raiders 2020 class. The team was ecstatic to add him as the “Joker” in Jon Gruden’s offense and Mike Mayock recently talked about the impression Bowden Jr. made on him and the Raiders coaching staff at the NFL combine.

From his annual conference call with the fans, this was Mayock on LBJ:

“The background here for fans to understand is that Bowden played at the University of Kentucky is the SEC, best conference in the country. His junior year he was a slot receiver and one of the best slot receivers in the SEC. He caught over 60 passes, he was dynamic in the slot. He comes back his senior year and the quarterback gets hurt, I think it was week one, and they move him from slot to quarterback. Ok, he’s also the best punt returner in the that league, and they move him to quarterback and he rushes for 1,500 yards at quarterback. And sure, a lot of it is zone read, but running quarterback counter, quarterback power, which are traditional I-formation plays for a tailback.”

At Kentucky, Bowden had 67 receptions as a junior for 745 yards and five touchdowns. His senior year he rushed for 1,468 yards and 13 touchdowns, while throwing for another 403 yards and three touchdowns. For what it’s worth, Kentucky won 18 games (including two Bowl wins) over that two-year span – so Bowden Jr.’s teams were not pushovers that piled up garbage-time stats.

Mayock continued with a story about Bowden Jr. at the combine:

“So [Bowden] was one of the guys we wanted to meet at the combine. Remember at the combine you only get 15 minutes. You get 60 players, 15 minutes a piece typically, and what can you get done in 15 minutes to learn more about a kid? So Jon [Gruden] does a great job with the coaching staff, kind of putting some stuff up on the board, teaching them out verbiage, go on to something else, show them video, then at the last five minutes kind of come back to what he talked about, about our verbiage and our plays. So we’ll see if they can replicate the conversation we had 10 minutes earlier in our verbiage. And to our surprise, Bowden sat there and spat it out. He spat it all right back out at us. And Jon just started laughing, Jon was going nuts. And that was kind of cool. That was the beginning of us kind of trying to peel away the layers…”

As storytelling legend Paul Harvey used to say… now you know the rest of the story.

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