Lynn Bowden has the look of a modern-day Kordell Stewart

NFL Draft

Lynn Bowden has compared himself to Antwaan Randle-El, but as he prepares to be drafted into the NFL, he invites comparisons to a different former Steeler.

As the NBA goes increasingly position-less, it’s worth wondering if the NFL will tilt that way for some positions as well. Christian McCaffrey has begun to stretch the label of running back, and along that same line, we have incoming draft prospect Lynn Bowden.

Bowden was a highly regarded recruit as a high school quarterback, but he moved to wide receiver upon landing at Kentucky. He truly emerged at his new position as a sophomore in 2018, with 67 receptions for 745 yards and five touchdowns, but a transfer exodus at quarterback left the Wildcats thin there entering last season.

When starter Terry Wilson went down to injury, Bowden stepped in and started the final eight games of last season at quarterback. Three straight wins to end the regular season pushed Mark Stoops’ squad into a bowl game, which they also won.

Bowden operated as a Wildcat/option quarterback, with 1,468 rushing yards (7.9 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns on the ground with a total of 74 pass attempts and 403 passing yards on the season. Narrowing it down to his eight starts under center, he had 1,369 rushing yards and went 32-for-70 as a passer with 16 total touchdowns over that span. Add in his 30 catches for 348 yards, which all came in the first five games of course, and Bowden delivered over 2,200 yards of offense last year.

Speaking to CBS Sports, Bowden estimated that he met with 15 teams at the NFL Draft Combine. The vision for him seems to be as a versatile all-around weapon.

“A lot of teams see me as playing everything, not just receiver,” Bowden said. “They asked me what position I am comfortable with and I tell them that I don’t have a set position. You can play me all over the field.”

Bowden is an Ohio native, but he is apparently a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. So among a wide range of comparisons, including fellow Kentucky alum Randall Cobb, he compared himself to a former Steeler who did a bit of everything.

“I think I am more of an Antwaan Randle-El because I’m still a Steelers fan,” he said.

But Bowden also invites comparisons to another former Steeler, who came a bit before his time compared to Randle-El: Kordell Stewart.

Dubbed “Slash” by then-Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, as a nod to being deployed as a quarterback, a runner and occasionally a wide receiver, Stewart was a versatile weapon the likes of which probably would’ve had a more firm place in today’s NFL. Modern sensibilities, and the infiltration of college concepts into pro offenses, would open things up for someone who had Stewart’s skill-set.

Next: 5 teams who should make an offer for Odell Beckham Jr.

It’s safe to say Bowden is a more polished wide receiver than Stewart, who played quarterback exclusively during his college career at Colorado, ever was. But in terms of everything he can offer, Bowden is an intriguing prospect who may sneakily make an immediate impact for whoever drafts him.

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