— By Bill Cornwell
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Two former Marshall players hope their names will be called this weekend during the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville.
Wide receiver Tyre Brady and safety Malik Gant both participated in the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis two months ago and hope they caught the attention of scouts with their performances.
Brady, a Homestead, Fla. native and Miami transfer, had a stellar two-year career in Huntington. Perhaps his finest highlight was a 76-yard touchdown catch in a game at North Carolina State.
Brady had 133 catches in his MU career for 1,944 yards and 17 touchdowns and was known for being able to make tough catches in traffic.
He averaged 14.6 yards per catch and 81 receiving yards per game at Marshall.
Brady did not run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, but he recorded 12 reps on the bench press, had a 32-inch vertical leap, a 117-inch broad jump and finished the 20-yard shuttle run in 4.25 seconds.
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein said “Elements of Brady’s game can be difficult to reconcile, making his projection challenging. His technique for making simple, short catches can be rudimentary, but he’ll make circus catches that require intense focus down the field. He lacks separation explosion in and out of his breaks but somehow finds catch space for himself. He lacks explosiveness so he’ll need to learn to win with more polished route-running to make it as a quality NFL backup.”
Gant, a Washington, D.C. native, left Marshall after his junior year to pursue his NFL dream.
In three seasons with the Herd, Gant had 201 tackles, including 15.5 tackles for loss. He collected 195 tackles over the last two seasons.
Gant also picked up an interception and a sack last season.
At the Combine, Gant had a 40-yard dash time of 4.63, with 17 reps on the bench press, a 34.5 inch vertical jump, 114-inch broad jump and times of 7.45 in the 3-cone drill and 4.3 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle.
Zierlein described Gant as a, “Hard-hitting safety with coverage limitations on the back-end and in man-to-man, but an infectious aggression in run support that is never in short supply. Unlike some safeties who are content to linger from behind the action, Gant has no desire of inaction and comes rushing into the box looking to bang.
“Gant is responsible and aware in coverage, but is relatively untested by top-end talent. He’s too tough and consistent as a run-thumper to overlook and could factor as a backup down safety with eventual starting talent who shines on special teams.”