There were 35 wide receivers selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, and many more were scooped up by NFL teams as UDFAs.
Not all of them are likely to contribute heavily as rookies, but there are certainly a few who will. So the analysts at NFL Network decided to take a stab at which rookie wideout they think will have the biggest impact in 2020. Former wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. may have had the most surprising guess, though.
On Thursday’s edition of NFL Total Access, Smith Sr. identified Las Vegas Raiders third round pick Lynn Bowden Jr. as his pick to have the biggest impact in 2020. He explained that Bowden’s versatility as a receiver, running back, quarterback and return man reminds him of former Steelers star Antwaan Randle El.
“I love Lynn Bowden Jr. because he’s gonna do everything,” Smith Sr. said. “And you know (Raiders head coach) Jon Gruden is gonna get him his plays and start to design a lot of creative things for this young man.”
Which rookie WR will have the biggest impact?
Steve Smith Sr. and @SteveMariucci have their picks 👇
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 28, 2020
Smith Sr. is certainly on point when it comes to Bowden’s versatility.
As a junior at Kentucky, Bowden averaged 7.9 yards per carry for 1,468 yards and 13 touchdowns. The year before, he was the team’s leading receiver with 67 catches for 745 yards and five touchdowns.
He was the leading kick returner as a freshman and sophomore. But in 2018, Bowden made five punt returns and took two all the way back for touchdowns.
Finally there’s his passing prowess. Bowden never threw more than 15 passes in a game, but had big roles in the passing game in wins over Arkansas and Vanderbilt.
Which rookie WR do you see having the biggest impact in 2020?
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