Second-day surprises

July, 9, 2009
7/09/09
11:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Everyone knows about their favorite AFC North team's high draft picks. But what about some under-the-radar rookies who could make an impact in the division this season?

Here is a look at four second-day picks who could surprise:

Baltimore Ravens

Player/Position: Lardarius Webb, defensive back

Round: Third

Why: Webb is a very good athlete who may have to wait his turn as a rookie to contribute to Baltimore's elite defense. Unlike last season, the Ravens are deep in the secondary. But Webb's ball skills could eventually land him a spot in sub packages. Plus Webb also has the ability to return kicks on special teams.

Cincinnati Bengals

Player/Position: Kevin Huber, punter

Round: Fifth

Why: The Bengals had a good draft filled with talented players, so the pick of Kevin Huber may surprise some. But I'm passing over second-day rookies such as defensive end Michael Johnson and tight end Chase Coffman, because Huber is guaranteed to start and be an immediate contributor. Huber was the first punter drafted and, from what I've seen, has a great leg with very good accuracy. Huber's leg could help the Bengals' up-and-coming defense with field position this season. And as evident by Cincinnati's confidence in the rookie, the team cut former Bengals punter Kyle Larson and free-agent pickup Ryan Plackemeier soon after landing Huber in the NFL draft.

Cleveland Browns

Player/Position: James Davis, tailback

Round: Sixth

Why: Davis was Cleveland's final pick of the 2009 draft, but he could turn out to be a productive player. He was projected to go in the first three rounds after a great junior season. But a poor senior year by Davis and Clemson in general made his stock plummet further than expected. The Browns got a good value pick with Davis in the sixth round. Cleveland is expected to run the football a lot this year as the team tries to find someone to occasionally relieve starter Jamal Lewis. So Davis will get plenty of opportunities to impress Cleveland's new coaching staff.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Player/Position: Mike Wallace, receiver

Round: Third

Why: Picking a second-day rookie from the Steelers is challenging, because Pittsburgh had a total of eight players taken after the second round. But if I had to take one under-the-radar player it would be rookie receiver Mike Wallace from Mississippi. Wallace is already one of the fastest and quickest players on the team upon his arrival, and that speed should help him see the field in some capacity. Wallace will get a chance to compete for a backup spot at receiver. But most likely his immediate contribution could come in the return game.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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