Tay Gowan Selected by Cardinals in Sixth Round of NFL Draft


ORLANDO – Tay Gowan was selected 223rd overall in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.

Gowan is the 46th UCF player to be drafted in the history of the program and the fourth of this draft, joining Richie Grant (2nd Round), Aaron Robinson (3rd Round) and Jacob Harris (4th Round).

Gowan made an impact on NFL scouts in just one year of FBS football, starring for UCF during the 2019 season. He started nine games and appeared in 12 as a junior after transferring in from Butler Community College.
As a junior, Gowan made 31 tackles, had two interceptions, recorded one tackle for loss, recovered one fumble and broke up eight passes. He earned second-team all-conference honors from Pro Football Focus following the season.

He is now the 32nd UCF player to be drafted since 2003, and the 13th UCF defensive back to be drafted into the NFL.

UCF in the NFL Draft Notes

  • 46 Players Drafted all-time since 1987
  • At least 1 player drafted in 15 of last 16 drafts
  • 25 players drafted since 2008
  • 32 players drafted since 2003
  • 4 players drafted in the first round
  • 4 players drafted in the second round
  • 8 players drafted in the first two rounds, 5 since 2014
  • 12 players drafted in the third round
  • 20 players drafted in the first three rounds, 9 since 2014, 12 since 2010
  • 7 Top 100 picks since 2017
  • 21 Top 100 picks all-time since 1987
  • 7 players drafted in the fourth round
  • 27 players drafted in the first four rounds
  • 13 defensive backs have been drafted, 8 since 2012
  • 11 wide receivers have been drafted, 4 since 2015

UCF Defensive Backs in the NFL Draft

  • Tay Gowan (2021 – 6th Round, 223rd, Arizona Cardinals)
  • Aaron Robinson (2021 – 3rd Round, 71st, New York Giants)
  • Richie Grant (2021 – 2nd Round, 40th, Atlanta Falcons)
  • Mike Hughes (2018 – 1st Round, 30th, Minnesota Vikings)
  • Shaquill Griffin (2017 – 3rd Round, 90th, Seattle Seahawks)
  • Clayton Geathers (2015 – 4th Round, 109th, Indianapolis Colts)
  • Kemal Ishmael (2013 – 7th Round, 243rd, Atlanta Falcons)
  • Josh Robinson (2012 – 3rd Round, 66th, Minnesota Vikings)
  • Joe Burnett (2009 – 5th Round, 168th, Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Asante Samuel (2003 – 4th Round, 120th, New England Patriots)
  • Travis Fisher (2002 – 2nd Round, 64th, St. Louis Rams)
  • Paul Miranda (1999 – 4th Round, 96th, Indianapolis Colts)
  • Ray Irvin (1991 – 9th Round, 240th, Cleveland Browns)
  • Corris Ervin (1988 – 5th Round, 136th, Denver Broncos)


Previously Selected - Richie Grant (2nd Round, 40th Overall)
Grant left UCF as one of the most highly decorated Knights, earning first-team all-conference honors from the American Athletic Conference three consecutive years, receiving unanimous distinction as a senior in 2020.
A starter at safety in 33 games in three seasons, Grant garnered honorable mention All-America accolades from Phil Steele and was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award in 2020.
Grant totaled 291 tackles in his career, ranking fourth in UCF history with seven forced fumbles and fifth with 10 career interceptions. His six interceptions in 2018 ranked third in the nation and had over 100 tackles during his sophomore season.

Previously Selected - Aaron Robinson (3rd Round, 71st Overall)
Robinson was extremely successful in the nickel position his final two seasons at UCF, earning second-team all-conference honors from The American in both 2019 and 2020. He was also a first-team all-conference honoree in 2019 according to Pro Football Focus, as well as a PFF Honorable Mention All-American.
The Deerfield Beach, Florida, native totaled 104 tackles in just 30 games, starting 19 times as a defensive back for the Knights. Robinson had 6.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions, and 17 pass breakups in his final two seasons at UCF.
Robinson was also a Nagurski Award and Jim Thorpe Award watch list honoree in his final season of college football.
Previously Selected -  Jacob Harris (4th Round, 141st Overall)
Harris, a former high school soccer player and walk-on at both Western Kentucky and UCF, blossomed into a top-level receiver for the Knights by his senior season in 2020. He finished the year with 30 catches for 539 yards and eight touchdowns.
A native of Palm Harbor, Florida, Harris began his tenure at UCF as a scout team player in 2017, before seeing his first on-field action on special teams in 2018. He was awarded a scholarship midway through that 2018 campaign.
Harris became a full-time receiver for the Knights in 2019, playing in all 13 games, catching 19 passes for 448 yards, and hauling in one touchdown. Six of his catches that season were 40 yards or longer and he averaged 23.6 yards per catch.