In a kaisertown first, I might actually be posting a short fanpost .... and I just refered to myself in the third person. I've had a couple posts in which I essentially argue against myself on whether or not Copeland Bryan is any good. I still don't have an answer, but the fact that Bryan is already 26 years old and is now in his 4th NFL season (if you count PS time) had me looking at the ages of other Bills. I feel like I was a fairly pessimistic poster during the offseason, but now that the tone of the blog is starting to head south, the optimist in me feels obligated to balance things out with an upper of a post. Looking for players who could surprise this year, I think ideal candidates are players with very little experience in the league, but are older in life experince. Younger veterans are also primed for a breakout. Here are some breakout candidates based on age:
The most obvious one has to be Donte Whitner. Whitner just turned 24 in July. He does deserve some of the criticism that has been thrown his way, but for anybody who has given up on Donte, consider this: Whitner is 5 weeks older than Leodis McKelvin who just had his 24th birthday a couple of days ago on Sep. 1st (since some Buffalo Bills apparently read the blog, happy B-Day Leo). Shawn Nelson is barely two months younger than Whitner is. The potential is there for a breakout season.
Another player who I've often been critical of is Reggie Corner and part of the reason I have never liked the draft pick is because of how old he is. 24 year old players don't pose much upside in the draft, but they do tend to come as fairly polished athletes. Corner, who turns 26 this season, could be ahead of the curve compared to other 2nd year players. I've never been a believer in him, but I understand why so many of you are. Corner is only a couple weeks younger than Ko Simpson and just a couple months younger than Brad Butler.
And my final candidate to surprise is one who might be a shocker. I've never been a fan of his, but I don't think anybody is going to see these age differences coming. Derek Schouman. There, I said it. I'll get straight to the point, Schouman is almost a year younger than Demetrius Bell. He's six months younger than preseason legend Jonathon Stupar and almost 20 months younger than Derek Fine. Shawn Nelson, in all of his infinite potential is only 7 months younger than the 3rd year player from Boise St. Schouman turns 25 in March. Also, the younger and more experienced of the Dereks is from Eagle, Idaho. That has to count for something. USA!, USA!, USA!