Who Is Tay Gowan?

The biggest headline of the trade that the Eagles and Cardinals made today was obviously shipping out Zach Ertz, a legendary tight end who caught the game winning TD in the Super Bowl. I'm loving seeing all the clips of Ertz's career here and we will continue to honor him, but I want to focus on the young corner who the Eagles traded for. Here are the official trade details with Arizona:

Eagles Receive: CB Tay Gowan, 2022 5th-Round Pick

Cardinals Receive: TE Zach Ertz

So what do we know about Tay Gowan? Well, he began his collegiate football career at Miami University, where he barely played after redshirting as a true freshman. He then left Miami and enrolled at Butler Community College, where he intercepted six passes while being given all-conference honors. That play obviously made him attractive to the bigger schools, and he transferred to UCF. He began his first season with the Golden Knights as a reserve back, but he became a starter and finished the season with 31 tackles/2 INTs/8 PBUs/1 FR. He allowed 20 catches on 50 passes that were thrown his way in coverage.

Gowan then opted out for the 2020 College Football season due to the pandemic and declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. His stock pretty clearly got hurt by this, as he fell all the way to the 6th Round(Pick 223). It is known that the Eagles were interested in Gowan as early as the 4th Round, but they instead selected Zech McPhearson with that pick. Howie Roseman said himself that Gowan was one of the guys the Eagles liked in the 6th Round but he was taken right before they selected. Funnily enough, I listed Gowan as someone the Eagles should target after they went the first two days of the draft without selecting a corner. But they took McPhearson, and Arizona got Gowan late.

On the Cardinals, we really do not have any sample size for Gowan, since he has been a healthy scratch in every one of their games this season. Although we know they were high on him post-draft, they were still willing to give him up to try to capitalize on their current Super Bowl intentions. So to see what the Eagles may have in Gowan, I had to dig up some old scouting reports back from April.

His scouting report is actually pretty similar to McPhearson's, although Gowan is an outside corner. Gowan is good at playing man coverage and following receivers in their route, but also can struggle with how he moves his hips on crossing routes. He's definitely a bit of a ballhawk as well, even if he only had 2 picks in his final year in college. In the limited tape I watched it seemed like he was decent at being able to adjust when a play breaks down or it's a run.

In terms of negatives, he's not very strong, and a bigger wideout would probably be able to take advantage of that. He's shown some ability to play zone coverage, but I think he would struggle in a non-man defense. A lot of times on film you can see that if he loses a step in coverage that he might not be able to recover in time to make a play. To me, the biggest negative for him is just the lack of tape. I can tell you that I found no film from his time at Miami Ohio or Butler Community College, so we have one season of games at UCF where he wasn't even a starter for the entire season. If he is ever going to be a player for the Birds, it won't be this season.

Zech McPhearson, who was the Eagles own 4th-Round pick this season, has been active for games but has only played special teams snaps. So unless some massive secondary injuries happen, I'm not sure Gowan will see the field at all in his first season in Philadelphia. If McPhearson and Gowan can live up to the flashes that they showed in college, the Eagles suddenly have two good young corners.

The future of the CB position is obviously a huge question for the Eagles, with Darius Slay getting older and Steven Nelson being on a 1 year deal. Avonte Maddox will also be a free agent after this season. Andre Chachere, Josiah Scott and Mac McCain are all guys the Eagles signed in the offseason that we haven't seen at all. The Eagles could use some young guys they can trust at corner, and Tay Gowan has the potential to be that.

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