By LARRY VAUGHT
It was obvious the Las Vegas Raiders liked Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden a lot when they used a third-round pick in the recent NFL draft on him.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden certainly made that clear in an interview with Jerry McDonald of the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News recently.
“I remember putting a play on the board at the combine for Bowden and we put in a concept and we told him what all five guys do. Then we’d say (quarterback) Derek (Carr) might audible to this and then five guys have to do this. Then we’d erase the board and talk about other things,” Gruden said.
“Then we told Bowden to get up on the board and put the concept in and tell us what all five guys do and erase it and tell us what all five guys do if Derek audibles. And he hit it out of the park.”
That’s why he was able to make the switch from receiver to quarterback midway of last season and save Kentucky’s season. Remember how both offensive coordinator Eddie Gran and quarterback coach Darin Hinshaw raved about Bowden’s football IQ
“He sees football. He understands football concepts,” Gruden told McDonald. “He’s been a quarterback in the SEC, so he’s had to operate at the line of scrimmage. He’s had to recognize defenses. He’s had to communicate.”
And he had to make plays — a lot of plays — for Kentucky and that’s what the Raiders think he will keep doing in the NFL.