Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock says the team’s surprising decision to trade third-round draft pick Lynn Bowden was only about football.
Despite a report that the Raiders had off-field concerns about Bowden, Mayock said it was simply an issue of Bowden struggling to fill the role the Raiders envisioned for him. Bowden played both wide receiver and quarterback in college at Kentucky, and Mayock said it was his own fault that he thought Bowden would be a good fit in the Raiders’ offense as a running back.
“No. 1, it was a football decision only. And character, off-the-field, the kid did absolutely nothing wrong. We did all our homework on the kid, off the field,” Mayock said, via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “He worked his tail off, he came to work every day. So, this was completely a football decision, had nothing to do with anything else. Quite frankly, I think the position change is a difficult one in any year. But it’s exaggerated in a COVID year with no offseason. So, you’re taking a kid that was a slot receiver in ’18, quarterback in ’19 and asking him to play running back in ’20. And, really, the only other thing I’m going to say about it is, it was my call. He was not able to play today at the level expected and because of that, we felt like we had to make a move. And, again, it’s 100 percent on me.”
Whatever the reasons, the Raiders had to give up Bowden and a sixth-round pick just to get a fourth-round pick back. Picking Bowden in the third round was a big miss by the Raiders.