Newly signed New York Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin has been through some tough times in his early NFL career.
The 23-year-old Maybin was the 11th overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills, but was waived last week after two disappointing seasons.
The former Penn State Nittany Lion recorded just 24 total tackles and zero sacks in his two seasons in Buffalo, and saw his playing time diminish last season even as Buffalo struggled to a 4-12 record.
The Jets decided to take a chance on him, and after just three days of practice he’s already shown some ability.
In his Jets debut Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals, Maybin recorded a sack on a third-down speed rush around the offensive left side late in the fourth quarter, stripping the football from Bengals quarterback Dan LeFevour.
Maybin, the cousin of San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin, admits he needs to put on more weight after he battled an illness in the offseason. The 6’4 Maybin reported to Bills camp at just 228 pounds, but now says he’s got his weight back up to the 240 range.
“I’m holding pretty steady at 240 right now, but I still got a few pounds to go get back to where I feel comfortable playing at during the season.” Maybin said at his introductory press conference with the Jets last week. ”Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back up to about 255, 256. I think that’s pretty much ideal for where I should be.”
Right now, Maybin’s role will be that of a pass rushing specialist in certain packages, so it’s likely that he will given every chance to succeed in the role he’s best suited for.
The Jets made a low-risk signing when they brought Aaron Maybin into the fold, but there may be some untapped potential that’s worth a look.
While it would be unrealistic to expect Maybin to become a sack machine after one good preseason pass rush against a third string offense, it was definitely an encouraging sign.
As he continues to bulk back up to his ideal playing weight of 255, Maybin does not have the pressure of being an every-down player or a big money contract on his back anymore.
It’s way too early to say that the Jets have something special with the ex-Bills castoff, but it’s intriguing to see what he can bring to the table.
I’d have to imagine at this point in time, Maybin has a legitimate chance to make the final 53-man roster, but he and the rest of the backup linebacker candidates still have lots of time to prove themselves.
With two preseason games and a few more weeks of practice ahead before the regular season kicks off for the Jets on September 11, Aaron Maybin is certainly worth keeping an eye on.