So Aaron Maybin now joins the scrapheap of Bills first-round busts, a crowded, lamentable junk yard littered with the likes of Mike Williams, Walt Patulski, Al Cowlings, Perry Tuttle, J.P. Losman, Erik Flowers and John McCargo.
Taken 11th overall two years ago – the personal pick of ex-Bills head coach Dick Jauron – Maybin finishes his Buffalo career with zero sacks and zero starts in 27 games. The only surprising thing about the news of his release is that it didn’t happen sooner. Say like last season.
As far as his place in Bills lore, you can make a strong case for him being the biggest draft day bust in franchise history. Not only couldn’t he start for a 4-12 team that opened last season with eight consecutive losses, he couldn’t even dress for five of the games despite being healthy. The aforementioned draft day blunders at least started for a few seasons before being jettisoned.
When I saw Maybin for the first time at the Rochester Press-Radio Club’s Children’s Charities Dinner three years ago, I couldn’t get over how slender he was. That night Maybin actually dozed off for a minute or two at the head table. Little did we know that would be the only sack time we would witness from him.
It wasn’t that Maybin didn’t try. The Penn State linebacker appeared to work hard. He just didn’t have the size or the talent necessary to make it in the NFL, which is why several in the Bills front office argued vehemently against drafting him but were overruled by Jauron.
So another page is turned on why the Bills have gone 11 seasons without a playoff appearance.
Consistently poor draft picks, especially in the first few rounds, have been the biggest reason for this prolonged wallow in mediocrity.
Interestingly, despite the whiff on Maybin, the 2009 draft still might be judged as one of the better ones in recent Bills history if center Eric Wood, Jairus Byrd and guard Andy Levitre continue being productive players for several more years.
The apathy shown by the sports world to Minnesota Twins slugger Jim Thome reaching the 600 home run milestone is a reflection of just how much damage the steroid era did to our appreciation of the game’s history and record books. It’s too bad, because Thome, unlike Bonds/Sosa/McGwire, has never been accused of using the stuff. Sadly, everybody’s reputation is impugned by this mess thanks to Bud Selig and Donald Fehr, who as baseball’s commissioner and union chief, respectively, did great impersonations of ostriches.