Before we get started, let me first say that the Miami Dolphins have a loaded wide receiving corps. And yes, I realize that NO ONE—not even Brian Flores and Chris Grier—knows what the future entails for this group of pass-catchers. But what I do know is that the Miami Dolphins invested a fourth-round pick in Lynn Bowden Jr. one season ago. And after showing promise in 2020, the sky is the limit for this unique pass-catcher from Kentucky.
This begs the question, is Miami Dolphins WR Lynn Bowden Jr. ready to breakout in 2021? And where does he project in Miami’s crowded receiving corps?
Bowden, 23, was drafted in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft (80th overall) by the Las Vegas Raiders. The idea (at the time) was for Bowden to play running back, but the Dolphins had different intentions.
So, after things didn’t work out with Lynn Bowden in Vegas, Miami sent a 2021 4th-round pick in exchange for the rookie playmaker and a 2021 6th-round pick.
Chris Grier and his staff believed Bowden could be an asset in the passing game, primarily as a wide receiver, so they made a trade for the versatile player. Yes, LBJ could bring an added dimension as a former quarterback and a running back more recently. But was he able to quickly learn the position to forge a future in South Florida?
lynn bowden jr. to myles gaskin for 32 yards pic.twitter.com/uA12sHU06d— josh houtz (@houtz) June 30, 2021
(Please note: The homer in me believes Lynn Bowden Jr. is going to be very #good. So much so, that I’ve already started drafting him in several fantasy leagues. (Best Ball/Dynasty)
Bowden finished the 2020 season catching 28/37 passes for 211 yards. He carried the ball 9 times for 32 yards—resulting in three first downs, FWIW. The stats aren’t godly. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But there’s definitely something there to work with.
No, the transition may not have come overnight, but we saw a much different player over the last five games of the season. A player that looked like he was starting to understand the position. But don’t take my word for it.
Here’s how Lynn Bowden Jr. matched up against the opposition over the final five weeks of the 2020 NFL season.
As you can see, Bowden’s snap count went up significantly after the team’s Week 13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. And while Bowden never found the endzone in his rookie year, to say that he didn’t show any promise would be untrue. Completely false. The lie detector would absolutely show, “YOU ARE NOT......” right. You would not be right because Lynn Bowden Jr. did show promise last season.
He displayed sure hands, a solid route tree (FIRST YEAR AS A WR), and had a knack for making plays whenever the ball touched his hands. But, most of all, he slowly became Tua Tagovailoa’s favorite target towards the end of the season.
I’m not here to say Lynn Bowden Jr. is the next great Miami Dolphins wide receiver. No one would say something so crazy—given how uncertain the NFL can be and a dozen other players in contention. He has to work. He has to grind. And he has to make every count.
This is something LBJ understands clear as day.
“You don’t just come here and get the playing time right away. You’ve got to compete on every level. That’s what I’m going to keep doing, day-in and day-out.”
After posing the question on the latest episode of Phinsider Radio, I realized I wasn’t trying to be different. I truly believe Lynn Bowden Jr. has as good of a chance as anyone as sticking around in Miami’s receiving corps long-term.
Bowden may only be the fourth (wide-receiver) option alongside DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, and Jaylen Waddle. Heck, some might have him fifth or sixth on the depth chart. But what Lynn Bowden Jr. showed on tape—primarily over the last five weeks of the season—gives me a reason to be optimistic.
Here’s to hoping his 2021 season is just the next step in the legacy of Lynn Bowden Jr.
What are your thoughts on Miami Dolphins wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr.? Do you think he makes the opening day roster? Could he be cut or moved to upgrade an area of weakness? Can he improve on his rookie season?
Let us know what you think in the comments section below!