Aaron Maybin: Big Time Player, or Big Time Bust?

Michael McMastersCorrespondent IMay 14, 2009

ORCHARD PARK, NY - MAY 01:  Aaron Maybin #58, 2009 first round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills  poses during Buffalo Bills minicamp at the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse on May 1, 2009 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Don’t kid yourself folks, There are some questions.  Can Aaron Maybin compete at the pro level?  Will this kid ever come close to dominating the way Bruce Smith did in the '90s?  The Bills really don’t want to end up with another Erik Flowers, do they?

Flowers like production isn’t something the Bills can afford.  Two seasons with Buffalo and a grand total of four sacks, that’s just not going to get it done.  Maybin has to make a few plays for the Bills this year.

What kind of plays?  Big plays, plays with Brady on his back at key moments, or a forced fumble greeting the running back.  If he can put a little heat on the QB you can force him to make some errant throws.  Errant throws would equal more interceptions.

Is Aaron Maybin up to the challenge?  Well all we hear from the coaches is he works hard in practice and in play, he hustles to the football, he wants to be a force.  One thing that is worrisome is he lacks elite size.

If I’m playing DE I want to able to match up physically the Offensive lineman.  At 249 that’s a little on the small side.  If I have trouble holding the point and attacking the running plays in college there will be a major problem in the Pro’s.

So Maybin’s best option right now is to be a situational rusher.  If he can hit a tired offensive line, especially late in a game you may be able to finish tight games.  Teams that usually win the close ones are the teams that can apply some pressure on the opposing offense in the waning minutes of a game.

What else is scary?  Well Maybin only started one year.  You can argue about the quality of starts all day long, but if you don’t have the experience you don’t have it. Some guys have a monster year and slowly watch their careers fade away shortly after entering the NFL.

Sure, the tape doesn’t lie.  I can buy that for a second.  12 sacks in the Big Ten is not exactly easy for a first year starter, neither is 20 tackles for a loss.  Yet, this was it, no other serious body of work to look at, just this previous season.

One positive thing that can be said about Maybin is he a very intelligent young man. Picking up the playbook and understanding what the coaches want him to do will go a long way with never quit, hustle attitude.

Realistically don’t expect eye-popping numbers.  If he could six sacks his first season then that would be considered going in the right direction.

At the end of the day, just produce. Maybin doesn’t need to be the savior he just needs to show that he can make plays on a team that lacks play-makers.

The Bills have to play Tom Brady two times this year.  With the receivers he’s got, you give him all day and he is going to burn you every time.  The Bills can’t afford to let this happen.  Somebody needs to put Brady on his back.

Bottom line, can Aaron Maybin be the guy to do it?