The Eagles traded the great Zach Ertz on Friday and that part of the trade obviously and rightly dominated the headlines.
But the Eagles picked up a fifth-round pick and a player: Tay Gowan.
So who is Gowan?
Well, the 23-year-old cornerback was drafted by the Cardinals in the sixth round (# 223) from UCF this spring. Gowan was in the Cardinals roster, but hasn’t been active for five games this year.
â€œAs for Tay, he’s a guy we spent a lot of time with in the draft process,â€ said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. â€œHe was someone we would have considered with our sixth round pick. He was in a group of names. He went right before we picked and he’s in a long corner. He has tremendous speed.
â€œHe was an opt-out guy last year. We spent a lot of time with him personally before the draft. And again, it gives us a chance to add a youthful corner to this room.
The Eagles have made three sixth-round picks this year. They passed Gowan twice at the start of the sixth round, knocking out Marlon Tuipulotu and Tarron Jackson. Later in the round, Gowan went to the Cardinals one place before the Eagles took JaCoby Stevens. So maybe Gowan would have landed in Philly if he had lasted one more spot.
At 6-1, 186 pounds, Gowan has good height and also good speed. He was not invited to the combine but ran a 4.49 on his professional day. It was probably a disappointing time for him due to his college career.
Gowan has only had one season as a starter in a Division 1 program. In 2019, he played 12 games (9 starts) at UCF. He had 31 tackles, 2 interceptions and 10 defended passes. Gowan stepped down in 2020 after the premature birth of his daughter in July.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had Gowan picked as the seventh round pick:
â€œAn outside cornerback who will struggle to stay connected to the roads against top speed or road runners. He does a good crowd job under roads and has the instinct for length and ball to make receivers really work for contested catches. Gowan needs to get stronger, but he’s got a good height and length to work. Its area of â€‹â€‹effectiveness will be limited to the next level. It may need to be paired with fenders using more Cover 2 or Cover 3 patterns. “
TheAthletic’s Dane Brugler considered Gowan a priority free agent:
â€œHe has patient feet and balanced movements on the press, but his process is a work in progress and the receivers are able to create a separation between their pauses. Gowan is aggressive with the ball in the air and plays into the hands of the receivers. He’s not lacking in physique, but he struggles to crack and attack on the move. Overall, Gowan has favorable length, confidence and ball skills, but his average speed and thoroughness in his transitions will be hard to mask against NFL runners.
ProFootballFocus was much higher on Gowan:
Tay Gowan was PFF’s eighth-place cornerback and one of PFF’s top 70 overall players for the 2021 NFL Draft after allowing only 40% of passes in his cover to be completed in his last. season at UCF.
After starting his college career in Miami, Ohio, Gowan spent the 2018 season at the JUCO level at Butler Community College in Kansas. It has a unique story and will be easy to take root.
With the Eagles, Gowan will have to come in and learn a new defense. But in a team without a ton of depth at the cornerback position, he could end up being a good addition. The Eagles’ best on-site substitutes are 2021 fourth-round pick Zech McPhearson and Josiah Scott, who was brought to Philly in a trade after being drafted in the 2020 fourth round by the Jaguars.
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