Aaron Maybin has been getting a lot of attention this offseason from mock draft maestros and internet scouts alike. Despite the fact that he is only a redshirt sophomore with only 1 real year of starting experience, almost every mock has him in the first round- and quite a few have the Dolphins taking him. What about this youngster has people so intrigued?
Lets go to the basics:
He is 6'-4", 240 lbs, and runs a 4.67 40 yard dash. He has very good (though not elite) straight line speed, he has the height that you look for, but he is a good 15 to 20 lbs underweight, even for a 3-4 OLB.
So what does he bring to the table? His biggest strength is simply his non stop motor. He is basically a QB seeking missle; he specializes in blowing by offensive tackles and getting the the QB. That being said, he has passable technique, and his athleticism often times allows him to keep tackles from getting their hands on him, and helps him in avoiding chip blocks.
His downside? His negatives are all basically due to his young age and inexperience. While he isn't completely raw, there is no way you can expect him to know as much about the game as someone who played all four years. He also needs to add weight to his frame as he had difficulty holding down the edge against the run (it is no coincidence that Penn States toughest conference games were against Iowa (a loss) OSU (a narrow win)- the common denominator? All have NFL caliber tackles and running backs that can punish you with their physicality). His lack of size wouldn't be as bad as an OLB in a 3-4, but for his rookie year he would probably only be on the field for 3rd and long. The final question will be if his one breakout year was truly his standard, or if it was a one time fluke.
Overall, he probably has the greatest potential of any pass rusher in the draft. Then again- you know the old saying- potential is what gets coaches fired.
Lets take a look at his numbers:
|Aaron Maybin Career Totals|
|Year||Games||Tackles||TFL||Sacks||Pass B/U||QB Hurries||FF|
Those numbers were good enough for 4th in the nation in sacks, 6th in tackles for a loss, and earned him All-Big Ten Honors in 2008. His 3 pass break ups are a good sign that he could kick out to OLB and not be completely overwhelmed with his pass coverage duties, and the 3 forced fumbles are a sign that he is a big time hitter. It should be noted however, that Maurice Evans, whom he replaced due to injury, had 21.5 TFL and 12.5 sacks in 2007. Penn State is either really good at finding pass rushing DE's- or has a good defensive system (or both I suppose).
I got a request earlier in the week to compare him to Clint Sintim, and how they matched up. Comparing college players is tough, but I broke up the stats into overall stats for the year, stats versus opponents with a winning record, and stats versus opponents ranked in the AP top 25. I already broke Sintim down on this site, but just as a refresher, he is 6'3", 255 lbs, and runs a 4.70 40 yard dash.
|Maybin vs Sintim- Final Year Averages|
|Overall||vs. Winning||vs. Ranked|
Overall its a pretty fair give and take. Obviously the biggest difference is in tackles for a loss, where Maybin was much more active in the backfield on a regular basis. Sintim clearly wins the battle in tackles per game. You really have to keep in mind that Maybin was a 4-3 DE, and Sintim was a 3-4 OLB when you look at these stats though. Maybin was asked to get into the backfield more, and Sintim should be expected to have more tackles as he is not engaged by a O-lineman on every play. I did take note that Sintim seems to be much more consistent against his best competition though which is something I rate highly.
Really though, which ever player gets drafted first will depend largely on the wants and needs of the teams considering them.
Maybin is by far the more athletic of the two, and has the highest upside. However, while you can't say he will or won't be great as a rookie, the team that drafts him will have to anticipate that he will take some time to develop into an every down player- and that his potential may never materialize. He is severely inexperienced, and it is often the younger players that are unable to deal with the pressures of the NFL and don't pan out. He is the high risk, high reward pick.
Sintim does not have all of the physical ability of Maybin, but he is a much safer pick. Not only did he play for four years but redshirted his freshman year for a total of 5 years of development on the college level. He started every game from his 1st season on for a total of 49. He has tons of experience, his experience is in a 3-4 scheme, and he has an NFL ready body that can hold up to NFL running backs, and should be able to see the field right out of training camp-1st through 3rd downs. He even showed he could put his hand on the ground and rush the passer out of a 4 man front. His straight line speed is very close to Maybins, but he lacks the athleticism and smoothness that Maybin has shown. Once again, you can never really accurately predict how a player will transition, but he projects to be a much more sure prospect than Maybin, but with a lower overall potential.
I'm personally higher on Sintim to be able to fit into our style of defense, and I am vary wary of Maybin being a one year wonder.
Dolfan 13 99 54- hope that answered your question.