Now that we have official combine testing results for a majority of the 2019 NFL Draft class, it’s time for a quick review of former Marshall Thundering Herd wide receiver Tyre Brady.1
THE EARLY YEARS
A three-star prospect out of high school, Brady received a handful of scholarship offers including Miami (FL), Florida State, and Mississippi State. He enrolled at Miami in 2014 but played in just two games that season without recording a catch. As a sophomore in 2015, Brady played in four games, ending with a modest 9-112-1 season-long line.
Unsatisfied with his opportunity in Coral Gables, Brady decided to transfer to Marshall University in the summer of 2016. He sat out the entire season to comply with NCAA transfer rules. In short, Brady’s early college career was largely uneventful. But that would soon change.
2017 AND BEYOND
The best game of Brady’s college career came in Week 2 of 2017 against N.C. State. He posted a massive 11-248-1 line against the only P5 competition he’d face that year. He went on to record five or more receptions in six of his last nine games, accounting for 31 percent of the Thundering Herd’s receiving yards and touchdowns on the year. Crossing the 30 percent threshold is an important indicator of future success and represents a positive in Brady’s profile.
Through 12 games this season, Brady has notched a 60-819-9 line, leading the team in all three categories by a sizeable margin. Back-to-back seasons with stable production have made him one of just five players to record 60-800-8 seasons in each of the last two years. His 0.37 Dominator Rating in 2018 is also very strong. But raw production not adjusted by age tells only part of the story.
AGE AND PRODUCTION
Brady’s size and raw statistical production over the past two seasons will certainly attract the attention of NFL scouts. But when we add age to the equation, red flags emerge. Brady’s elongated career path makes him a relatively old prospect (23.7). Referencing Anthony Amico’s work with adjusted breakout age, Brady’s strong 2016 season loses some luster.
Brady’s adjusted breakout age (22.9), career TD/game (0.68), and final-year yards per reception (13.7) place him in the least successful bucket in Amico’s study. Assuming he gets drafted and makes a final roster, he’ll play his rookie season as a 24-year-old. Research from Blair Andrews shows that similar prospects have historically struggled to achieve relevance for fantasy football purposes.
Brady opted not to compete in the forty-yard dash at the combine but did take part in the vertical (32 inches) and broad jump (117 inches) where he finished in the 12th and 28th percentiles, respectively, per Mockdraftable. His 20-yard shuttle time (4.25) was also below average landing in the 40th percentile. At Marshall’s Pro Day, Brady ran in the mid-4.7-second range in the forty-yard dash, a disappointing result considering his weight (211 pounds) — not to mention that pro day times are generally slighter faster than combine times making Brady’s results look even worse. Widely considered to be an intriguing mid-round prospect before the combine, Brady has done little to catch the eye of scouts looking for athleticism to go along with production.
In my initial article profiling Brady I noted that strong athletic testing sessions were likely required for him to be on the dynasty radar. There’s no questioning his production which I weigh much heavier than pure athleticism. But draft position is also extremely important, and following a forgettable combine and pro day, I worry Brady might fall by the wayside. If you’re looking to take a swing on a big-bodied, productive WR — albeit with clear red flags — late in your rookie drafts, Brady fits that mold.
- The original, pre-combine version of this article was published on December 18, 2018. (back)