The thought of Project Mayhem going pro after this season never really entered my mind. He still has two years of eligibility left, but because he redshirted his first year at Penn State he is three years removed from his high school graduation and thus eligible to enter the NFL draft if he wishes. And from the way things sound, the NFL has their eye on him.
Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State: Although just a redshirt sophomore and first-year starter, Maybin (6-foot-4, 236 pounds) is eligible to enter the draft early if he desires. If that should come to pass, there will be no shortage of teams desiring to get their hands on a player who is becoming increasingly coveted as a 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB on Sundays.
Plenty of scouts are buzzing about Maybin's amazing burst and non-stop motor as a pass-rusher (12 sacks heading into Saturday's regular-season finale against Michigan State), and consider him first-round material if he opts for early entry. Although he's not as strong as he needs to be at the point of attack, Maybin's pass-rushing prowess and potential are said by scouts to jump off the film.
Maybin will be the best potentially draft-eligible prospect on the Beaver Stadium field Saturday -- better than PSU WR Derrick Williams, PSU S Anthony Scirrotto, MSU RB Javon Ringer, who ranks second in the NCAA in rushing with 1,548 yards and first in rushing TDs with 20; or MSU QB Brian Hoyer.
Count on Maybin spending more than his share of time in the Spartans' backfield and, perhaps, continuing to rocket up the draft board.
Before the season we all thought Maurice Evans would be the most likely player to go pro after their junior year. How ironic that Evans' off the field problems were what opened the door for Project Mayhem to get more playing time this season and now HE is the one the NFL scouts are looking at.
It figures though. Just as you peg a guy with a kick ass nickname he leaves.