NFL Draft Prospect Spotlight: Tay Gowan

UCF cornerback Tay Gowan brings intangibles despite coming from a so-called "small school" program to the NFL Draft and fits the needs of the Las Vegas Raiders
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Sticking with the secondary after previewing TCU safety Ar’Darius Washington, we now spotlight University of Central Florida cornerback Tay Gowan.

Originally starting at Miami of Ohio before transferring to UCF for his junior season, Gowan only ended up playing one full year of Division I football.

However, Gowan didn’t waste the opportunity to make himself know to NFL scouts.

Starting nine games in 2019, Gowan finished with 31 tackles, two interceptions, and eight passes defended.

That production was good enough to have Pro Football Focus (PFF) rank him as the 36th best cornerback in college football in 2019.

In terms of his measurables, Gowan already has many of the qualities that teams look for in modern-day corners.

At 6-2 and 185 pounds, Gowan brings a great combination of height and length to the corner.

Gowan also moves very well for a cornerback that size, with his closing speed being a standout trait.

Coming from a school like UCF, however, there inevitably will be questions regarding the level of competition that Gowan faced in the AAC.

As mentioned earlier, he also only has one full year of FBS play to draw from, so scouts could wonder about his lack of experience.

That said, the results in his one year at UCF speak for themselves.

Gowan only allowed 20 catches on 50 targets for 274 yards, all the while even executing NFL concepts like playing in press man-to-man coverage.

That combined with his impressive physical profile could make Gowan among the first Group of Five players to go in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Raiders' secondary problems are well documented, and while they’ve worked to build up young talent at corner, they need more results.

Picking up a player like Gowan who’s physically similar to corners they already have could be a step in finding those results.

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