Over the next two weeks, Dallascowboys.com dives deeper into the talented group of undrafted rookies that will battle for a roster spot this offseason.
Name: Garrett Marino Position: Defensive Tackle School: UAB Height/Weight: 6-2/290lbs Awards & Recognition: First Team All-Conference USA
The Good: Marino's tape is as good as it gets. It seems as if the Southern California native had an impact on every single defensive play and it showed with 29 hurries, 8.0 sacks and nine hits in 2019. His grades from Pro Football Focus also reflected his athleticism with elite numbers as both a pass rusher and a run defender (each 90+), all while generating pressure on over 13 percent of his snaps. An ultra-positive to Marino's game is the way that he reads a ball carrier and is so quick off the line of scrimmage. His high-energy allows him to anticipate the snap and get a head start on the majority of the offensive linemen he faced in Conference USA play.
The Project: He looked like a grown man playing amongst boys in the Conference USA...partly because he was a grown man. Marino will be a 26-year-old rookie when the season rolls around this fall which partnered with his undersized frame is a troubling sign for his NFL career. Fundamentally he has a few nice moves with his hands but not a wide enough arsenal (that was shown on tape) to really outsmart opponents. His motor and energy is so sky-high sometimes that it actually hurts him in contain and losing the ball carrier. The effort is obviously there but it just spins out of control every now and again.
The Summary: It's been said many times about undrafted defensive linemen trying to make the roster, but it's a tough road for Marino as well. His age, size, and change of direction issues all make him a longshot to end up in a crowded room. But if there's one thing we've learned about that Blazers program and guys like Marino, they never take no for an answer and they're going to fight for every inch. That paired with his tape, tenacity, and motor all make him one of the most anticipated camp attendees and someone we want to see against NFL competition.