Philadelphia Eagles: Tay Gowen needs a friend in the PR Department

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Philadelphia Eagles (PR staff) debuted their first official unofficial depth chart of the 2022 NFL calendar year, it largely landed as expected.

Sure, there were a few surprises, like JJ Arcega-Whiteside landing in the “other” category and Boston Scott tying with Kenneth Gainwell for the RB2 spot (more on that here), but for the most part, the roster fell as expected, without a shocker in any of the starting sports and only a few down the roster.

With that in mind, there is one player who really didn’t get much love on the PR-generated depth chart for one reason or another: Tay Gowan.

So what gives? Was Gowan overlooked for a spot on the second team opposite Zech McPhearson? Yes he was, as the spot opposite McPhearson was filled by the other cornerback the Eagles traded for during the 2021 season, Kerry Vincent Jr., formerly of the Denver Broncos, but that wasn’t all.

No, in a very unfortunate oversight/intentional sight, Gowan actually landed on the fourth team, stuck behind a pair of cornerbacks in Josh Jobe and Mac McCain who were far less heralded heading into the preseason.

What gives? Has Gowan fallen off in a major way in the eyes of the front office to the point where even the PR department knows it, or could this be a simple oversight, with the Midnight Green Knight duking it out for a bottom-of-the-roster outside cornerback spot with the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles hopefuls? For his sake, let’s hope it’s the latter.

The Philadelphia Eagles owe it to themselves to see what Tay Gowan can do.

As you may or may not know, Tay Gowan is the Philadelphia Eagles’ biggest cornerback; he’s an inch taller than James Bradberry, is of an appropriate weight at 185 pounds, and has a wingspan of 75.25 inches according to Mockdraftable that is just shy of average for the position.

If Gowan just had those measurables with below-average speed, he’d likely still be considered a promising developmental prospect worthy of a spot on a team that runs a “cylo”press-zone look a la the Seattle Seahawks. Fortunately, Gowan ran a 4.49 40 coming out of UCF and impressed even more with an exceptional 2.52 20-yard split that put him in the 85th percentile according to Mockdraftable.

A prospect Gowan still very much may be, but he’s far from a scheme-dependent performer who can’t hang on his own. No, unless a team wants to play super stingy man coverage from an ultra-deep single-high look with no help across the middle of the field from a ‘backer, Gowan would be a happy addition to the DB room.

Need proof? Just ask Howie Rosmean; he quite literally traded for Gowan for that very reason.

Now granted, Gowan is raw; he only has one year of FBS starting experience under his belt and played just 44 snaps over two games with the Birds as a rookie in 2022. Still, if Gowan can put it together at least a little bit during the preseason and prove he can play make more plays than he gives up, a spot on the 53-man roster should very much be in play.

Next. 3 Bubble players to watch vs. the Jets. dark

The NFL preseason is weird; some teams play their starters early and often, while others use the exhibitions to instead audition performers for the bottom of their roster. Regress of how Nick Sirianni and company choose to handle the first few drives of their games against the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, and Miami Dolphins, he should make it a point to play Tay Gowan early and often, as this preseason could define his standing in the City of Brotherly Love moving forward.