Perhaps the best offensive player in Kentucky Football history will become an NFL player next month. Lynn Bowden Jr. has declared for the NFL Draft, where he is set to enter the league not as a wide receiver or quarterback but as a “football player.”
As a Wildcat in 2019, Bowden started the season at his natural wide receiver position and hauled in 348 reeving yards and a touchdown grab in five games.
Then, after injuries to both starting quarterback Terry Wilson and backup Sawyer Smith, Bowden moved under center. At quarterback, Bowden led the Wildcats to a 6-2 record after rushing for an SEC-leading 1,468 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns while adding 403 passing yards and three touchdowns including a perfect 13-yard pass to Josh Ali to win the Belk Bowl.
Now, as he heads to the pros, Bowden will hope to land with a team that allows him to impact the game in as many ways possible.
Here are four teams’ that Bowden may fit in perfectly with.
While the Arizona Cardinals just added perhaps the NFL’s top wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins, the desert may be the perfect landing spot for Bowden.
Bowden does his best work in the slot and in the Wildcat formation. Arizona has two of the NFL’s top outside receivers in Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald.
Thus, Bowden could find a situation where he can be the primary slot receiver and have far less pressure as defenses look to lockdown Hopkins and Fitzgerald on the outside.
The Cardinals are also in need of a ball carrier with David Johnson traded to Houston. With the rushing ability, Bowden showed out of tee backfield while playing quarterback, Arizona could find creative ways to get him the ball out of the backfield on direct snaps or handoffs.
If Bowden ends up mainly working as a slot receiver, the Minnesota Vikings would be an ideal landing spot.
The Vikings are coming off their second playoff appearance in the last three seasons but traded receiver Stefon Diggs to Buffalo and allowed former first-round pick, Laquon Treadwell, to walk in free agency leaving a hole at receiver.
Bowden, could fill that void working in the slot alongside outside receiver Adam Thielen. He’d also benefit from working with reliable quarterback Kirk Cousins, who finished fifth in completion percentage at 69.1% last season.
In addition to working in the slot, Bowden can take pressure off star running back Dalvin Cook, who is relied on heavily. The Vikings can find ways to get Bowden involved in the running game either under center, on end around or on direct snaps, which would bring a new and difficult to stop element to their offense.
A team that would allow Bowden to be one of the featured weapons immediately upon arrival is the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles have made the postseason each of the last three seasons, including winning Super Bowl 52 over the New England Patriots. Last season, despite an NFC East division crown, Philadelphia won just nine games as injuries decimated their skill position depth.
With the Eagles, Bowden could step and become quarterback Carson Wentz’s primary receiver and also be used in the run game and perhaps throwing the ball in trick play formations.