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Payne's Perspective: Kevin Payne's Take on The 2012 NFL Draft

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

Weíre going to skip the rankings this week (and continue next week) and take a look at some of the fallout in the wake of the recent NFL draft.

- How long should the first round of the draft allow between picks? Two minutes, three at most? Thereís nothing more annoying than waiting for what seems like forever between picks, and then watch a college athlete hug/shake hands/fist bump commish Roger Goodell before his entourage joins him on stage.

- The Reskinsí Kirk Cousins pick was scrutinized by many, considering the second overall pick was RG3. Once upon a time there were those who thought that former No. 2 overall Ryan Leaf was: (1) A franchise quarterback and (2) A normal human being. I say this because as you read this, there are two arrest warrants out for him in Texas. Iím in no way shape or form saying this is the future of Robert Giffin III, but the reality is we heard ďgreat pickĒ way too often during the draft. There are going to be busts in the top-10 and there are going to be stars that were selected after the second round or later. In any case, Cousins provides Washington with a more interesting insurance policy than veteran Rex Grossman.

- Speaking of arrests, Iím still not getting the Bruce Irvin pick at No. 15 overall. Even he thought he was going in the late first round, at best. Beside Irvinís bad choices in the past, admitting he thought that he was going later than he was taken shows a lack of confidence. I want to hear a player add in Jerry Rice if heís compared to Calvin Johnson. That being said, I loved the Seahawks going out and getting *who* they wanted, regardless of the player. Thatís a big note to take away from this draft to use in the fantasy world: at the end of the day, grab the player you want. Thereís nothing worse than kicking yourself for an entire season because you passed on someone to get another player because they had a higher consensus ranking. Part of fantasy is to play for fun and having the guys you want on your team makes winning all the more enjoyable.

- Stephen Hill was an outstanding pick by the Jets. Heíll step into the role occupied by Plaxico Burress last season and should be a much better option. After the blunder that was the Tim Tebow trade, the Jets had an excellent draft, considering they got Quinton Coples in the first round.

- Iíve ranted on and on about how good I think Justin Blackmon is and now after being selected by Jacksonville, most of his potential fantasy value is completely gone. The sad thing is, with Laurent Robinson and Mike Thomas on hand as well, Jacksonville has a nice trio of receivers. But Blaine Gabbert does not look like a starter in the NFL to me and despite having one of the best running backs in Maurice Jones-Drew, I donít see him having a successful sophomore season.

- Things just got a lot more interesting in the desert from a fantasy perspective. Along with Larry Fitzgerald, Kevin Kolb now has Michael Floyd to throw the ball to. Early Doucet should settle in nicely as the slot guy and the Cards still have Todd Heap, when healthy. Donít be surprised if the Cards have two 1,000-yard receivers this season. Keep in mind it could be John Skelton under center, but thereís a lot of fantasy potential for whoever is quarterback in Arizona now that Floyd on the roster.

- Weíll never get the true story, but whatever Minnesota did to get Cleveland to trade up was genius. Mind you, Cleveland had a ton of picks to play with and Trent Richardson is going to be an outstanding running back despite whatever Jim Brown says. Minnesota fans should be ecstatic that Matt Kalil will be anchoring the teamís offensive line for years to come. Did you catch the note that Adrian Peterson beat his teammates in a sprint this week? Note that coming back from ACL surgery, the important test is cutting from side to side (this is coming from someone who has had both ACLs repaired) but this will likely be the only season where AP comes at a discount. Iíd be fine taking him in the late first round of most drafts, especially now that Kalil is on board.

- Getting back to Trent Richardson, how high would you take him among running backs? The Browns have to look at him as a three-down back, which is rare in the NFL these days. Iíd be comfortable taking him over Jamaal Charles, Darren McFadden, Matt Forte, Ryan Mathews or Michael Turner. I havenít figured out Brandon Weeden. For this season, being 28 can only help and while he put up huge numbers in college, keep in mind the system he was playing in. Having Justin Blackmon didnít hurt either and saying Weeden is an upgrade over Colt McCoy speaks to the lack of upside McCoy has, more than the upside of Weeden, at least for now.

- I know I probably write too much about my hometown team, the Bills. A friend and I were discussing the possibility of legally putting a wager on the over, if the win total for them was 7.5. In my mind, theyíve clearly passed the Jets during the offseason and every move made in the draft seemed to be made to compete with the Patriots. Stephon Gilmore has the potential to be a shut-down corner (to counter the Patriots adding Brandon Lloyd) and needless to say there was a lot of cheering when guard Cordy Glenn fell in the second round. After him, Iím not sure about the T.J. Graham pick, but overall the defense improved. Keep in mind that the Bills defense created a lot of turnovers last season and they now have one of the best defensive lines in the league. Besides adding Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, Marcell Dareus should be better in his second season and Pro-Bowler Kyle Williams will be healthy. Essentially, the Bills have taken the blueprint that the Giants used to beat the Patriots (get pressure rushing four, drop seven into coverage) and will be one of the more improved teams this season. Dave Wannstedt has always struck me as a better coordinator than a head coach (think a defensive Norv Turner) and he now has a ton of depth after the draft. This is a defense youíll want to target for fantasy purposes this season.

- The Patriots had an interesting draft. Two seasons ago they took Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, last year they took Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen and this season they didnít take an offensive player until pick No. 235. On offense there wasnít any need, as every position was adequately filled, so bolstering the defense (often a liability last season) was clearly the plan going into the draft.

- Iíve been a big fan of what Jim Schwartz has brought to the Lions and I think Iíll be reminded of that every Thanksgiving for the foreseeable future. Getting Ryan Broyles was clearly grabbing the best player, rather than addressing a nee, but he is someone to consider in the later rounds of fantasy drafts in that offense. With Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew on hand, look for Broyles to see single coverage all season. Riley Reiff (like most of the offensive lineman) fell to Detroit and should help protect Matthew Stafford. It was no surprise to see them select three linebackers and three cornerbacks with their last six picks.

- Kudos to the Colts for drafting a strong supporting cast to develop with Andrew Luck. While Pierre Garcon is now in Washington, drafting two tight ends and two wide receivers gives Luck some weapons to develop with. Keep in mind that the Colts re-signed Reggie Wayne, whose most important job this season could in fact be mentoring Indianapolisí young receivers.

- Doug Martin and David Wilson are two running backs to keep in mind as late picks. Brandon Jacobs isnít in a Giants uniform and Ahmad Bradshaw is not a model of health. The definition of irony could be LeGarrette Blount losing his starting spot, or at least touches to Martin, an alum of Boise State. Unlike Bradshaw, Blount is used little in the passing game, which will increase Martinís value in PPR formats.

- Anything I missed or commentary on my observations? Hit up the comments section.