Thursday, October 9, 2008

LB Marc Magro signed to practice squad, LB Tyson Smith released

The Dolphins made a practice squad swap of inside linebackers yesterday, releasing Tyson Smith and signing Marc Magro. A West Virginia alum, Magro was signed by the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent this offseason and spent time on the Rams' practice squad last month.

Also this week, the Dolphins released practice squad defensive tackle Anthony Toribio and re-signed cornerback Will Billingsley, only to reverse the move three days later.

Tyson Smith

An undrafted free agent out of Iowa State in 2005, Smith has spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. He spent time on Dallas' practice squad last season (hence the connection to the Dolphins' staff) and attended training camp with the team before being released during final cuts. He had been on Miami's practice squad since the regular season began.

Marc Magro

After playing primarily on special teams and as a backup linebacker during his first three seasons at West Virginia, Magro earned the starting middle linebacker job with the Mountaineers as a senior in 2007. During the season, he recorded 64 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery on his way to second-team All-Big East honors.

Prior to the 2008 NFL Draft, Magro posted a 4.82 40-yard dash and did 28 bench press reps of 225 pounds at his Pro Day. After going undrafted, he signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent.

Magro appeared in all four preseason games for the Rams in 2008 including a lone start in the preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs. He recorded nine tackles (seven solo) and a pass deflection during the preseason but was waived by the team during final cuts. Magro was re-signed to the team's practice squad where he remained until his release on September 24.

Magro first worked out for the Dolphins on October 2 and was brought in again on October 6, after which time he was signed to the practice squad. He will wear No. 50, which was most recently worn by linebacker Edmond Miles in 2007 and during the 2008 preseason.

Analysis

All in all, this is a largely insignificant move by the Dolphins. Smith has bounced around the league for over three seasons now and has yet to establish himself on an active roster, while Magro is younger and might have more potential.

So what does Magro bring to the table? He has good size at 6-foot-3 and 246 pounds and is very strong, as indicated by his impressive 28 bench reps. He's an intelligent player, having earned multiple academic honors at West Virginia, and is widely regarded as a very hard worker.

The negatives? Magro lacks great speed or athleticism, doesn't have a ton of college starting experience and also lacks very impressive production at that level. He's a borderline NFL prospect that might not have much of a future in the league.

The fact Magro was released from the Rams' practice squad indicates he's hardly a good NFL prospect. At this point, he's only trying to prove he's a capable special teamer and even that hasn't got him onto an active roster yet. He'll serve as Miami's fourth inside linebacker in practice and allow Rob Ninkovich, who had been working inside recently, to stay outside more.