Maybe the End for Maybin
It’s been something of a rollercoaster NFL career for Aaron Maybin.
Drafted by the Bills to be a pass rushing stud, he failed to deliver, and then some, being of the biggest busts in recent memory. He was cut and would go on to join the New York Jets where, after he bounced on and off the active roster, he seemed to find a home.
Only now he’s been kicked out again.
Why? And what does the future hold?
Bad Times in Buffalo
When you draft a guy with the 11th overall pick of any draft, you expect a certain amount of production. The contribution of Aldon Smith and Bruce Irvin in recent years show that high picks don’t necessarily need to play every down to warrant that selection, but they do need to be productive. They need to get at the quarterback and make his life uncomfortable. Did Aaron Maybin do this as a Bill?
Nine combined quarterback disruptions on 186 pass rushes would suggest not.
In fact, when the Bills cut their losses on a first-round pick after just two years, it didn’t even come as much of a surprise. He was that bad for them and looked too small to play in the NFL. He was a different type of player than Vernon Gholston, but the results seemed the same. I mean, a pressure on just 4.8% of pass rushes? A big guy like Paul Soliai is generating pressure on 4% of his rushes. That’s how unproductive Maybin was.
Being a first-round pick, though, he was always likely to get a second chance and with the Jets desperate for some form of speed off the edge, it made a lot of sense. It was extremely low risk, but who knows, maybe the Bills just couldn’t get the best out of him.
It started slowly in New York. He managed just 14 snaps in his first two games, but by generating a sack and a hurry on 11 pass rushes, it was enough to see him get an expanded role. Only once would he play less than 10 snaps, and he finished the year on the field for 240 of the Jets’ defensive plays. What’s more, he picked up 24 total pressures on his 185 pass rushes. That helped him to a Pass Rushing Productivity rating better than guys like Connor Barwin, Ryan Kerrigan and Lamarr Woodley.
He played well enough that my colleague Sam Monson dubbed Maybin the Jets Secret Superstar and theorized of an increased role for him. The logic was sound. The Jets needed pass rush and Maybin had delivered in the year gone by. Sure, one of his sacks came after beating a running back and another when Matt Moore vacated the pocket, but he still got the pressure even if it was rarely instantaneous.
Reverting to Type
Maybin couldn’t deliver again. Despite the Jets being desperate for pass rush, his role in 2012 didn’t grow. He topped only 20 snaps in a game once and was given only five snaps against Miami before he was benched. Not producing and with a name that people recognized, he was the perfect candidate for the front office to make a statement to a group of underachieving players.
It’s sad that Maybin couldn’t build on his 2011 or even replicate it. He demonstrated a flare for making plays and his story was one where you rooted for him, but this is a league all about getting the job done and he wasn’t. So where does he go now? I theorized yesterday that teams wouldn’t look at a guy like Ray Edwards because of his baggage and inability to flourish in a situational role. Now that’s exactly why a number of teams could be interested in Maybin.
He knows he’s getting close to the Last Chance Saloon and that whichever team he latches on with he’s going to need to deliver — and likely in limited opportunities — if he wants to be in football in 2013. Are you saying a team like the Colts with Jerry Hughes struggling might not have some interest after he picked up two hits and two hurries against them? Or that a Saints team searching for some pressure off the edge may not make an inquiry?
I’m not saying either team will, but I am saying that some team will. Situational pass rushers have value, and with Maybin being so low risk he’s going to attract some form of interest.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled