Berlin still has room for improvement

With the Dolphins in desperate need of a running back, Carnell Williams could be the top pick in the draft.

Updated: November 8, 2004, 1:47 PM ET
By Todd McShay | Scouts, Inc.

Note: Our scouts watch college football with an eye on the next level. This week they look at Miami QB Brock Berlin; Oklahoma DE Dan Cody; N.C. State OT Chris Colmer; Washington WR Charles Fredrick; and more, while also updating their top 32 draft prospects.

We're only nine weeks into the NFL regular season, but the top of the 2005 draft board is beginning to take shape. If the season ended today, the Dolphins would have the first overall selection, followed by the Panthers and 49ers.

The Dolphins could obviously go in several different directions with the top pick, but running back is the team's biggest need. With Carnell Williams and Cedric Benson grading out as high first-round selections, the Dolphins could address that need immediately. The Panthers may be looking to upgrade at wide receiver or patch up their offensive line, making former USC WR Mike Williams and Florida State OT Alex Barron worthy of consideration.

The 49ers likely will be in the market for offensive line help also, but other prospects to strongly consider include Miami DC Antrel Rolle, Texas OLB Derrick Johnson and Wisconsin DE Erasmus James. Finally, if quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Matt Leinart come out early, they could be possibilities for the Dolphins and 49ers.

Berlin lacks physical tools

Miami QB Brock Berlin has played with a lot more confidence since the second half of the Louisville game. Berlin is seeing the field more clearly and has been more aggressive in his decision-making. He also has taken on a leadership role. In terms of intangibles, Berlin is everything you want in a quarterback prospect. He's hard working and has shown an ability to overcome adversity throughout his collegiate career.

The problem is that Berlin remains too inconsistent. He is erratic as a passer and will typically miss high. He has just decent arm strength and struggles to get enough velocity on throws outside the hashes. In addition, Berlin is short and lacks ideal athleticism. Add it all up, and there's good reason to believe Berlin will slip to the final round or two of the upcoming draft.

Cody on the right track

After struggling in the early part of the season, Oklahoma DE Dan Cody is coming on strong. Cody's career has been a rollercoaster ride. He earned a starting job at defensive end as a sophomore in 2001, but left the team to deal with a medical condition (clinical depression) after the opener, and wound up using his medical redshirt that season.

Cody returned healthy as a rotating backup in 2002. He regained his starting position as a junior in 2003, leading the Sooners with 10 sacks. Cody is on medication to treat his depression; doctors say he has it under control and it won't affect his play in the long-term. Through eight games this season, Cody has 10 tackles for loss with seven sacks.

Cody does not have great top-end speed, but he is an athletic player with a great motor. He has the potential to play a versatile role in the NFL. He has experience playing inside, outside and also dropping in coverage. Cody should come off the board in the middle of the first round.

Colmer overcoming medical problems

N.C. State OT Chris Colmer had a lot to prove after sitting out the 2003 season with a rare disease named Parsonage-Turner syndrome. Colmer's ailment -- possibly brought on by a viral infection -- caused pain, numbness, tingling and weakness from his left shoulder down to his biceps and into his forearm. Prior to the injury, Colmer was considered one of the top offensive tackle prospects in the 2004 class.

Colmer is a blue-collar type of offensive lineman with good size, quickness and strength. He is not the most athletic tackle in the class, but might be the most technically sound and efficient. Colmer has bounced back strong from his illness, showing no ill effects this season, and could move back into the first round in the 2005 draft.

Injuries, etc

  • Washington WR Charles Fredrick has been limited for a good portion of his team's last four games because of a hamstring injury. As the injury continues to linger, there is some concern he might not play another game at the collegiate level. Frederick has the potential to develop into a solid No. 2 starter and return specialist in the NFL.

    However, Frederick lacks the physical tools to develop into a go-to-guy at the next level. He has never played the role of a primary receiver in college, which raises questions about how prepared he is to make the transition. If Frederick is unable to play the rest of the season, it will put even more doubt in the minds of NFL officials.

  • Nebraska junior TE Matt Herian suffered a season-ending broken leg against Missouri. Herian, who had 24 receptions for 308 yards prior to the injury, was reportedly considering leaving school early in order to make himself available for the 2005 NFL draft. He likely would have been selected in the second round.

    The injury is making him reconsider. Assuming he does return to Lincoln next fall, Herian will begin the season as the highest-rated senior tight end prospect in the 2006 draft class, assuming Virginia's Heath Miller leaves after this season.

    Scouts Inc.'s Top 32
    1. Aaron Rodgers QB JR Cal-Berkeley 1
    2. Mike Williams WR JR USC 2
    3. Matt Leinart QB JR USC 3
    4. Carnell Williams RB SR Auburn 5
    5. Braylon Edwards WR SR Michigan 7
    6. Antrel Rolle DC SR Miami-FL 4
    7. Derrick Johnson OLB SR Texas 6
    8. Cedric Benson RB SR Texas 8
    9. Ronnie Brown RB SR Auburn 10
    10. Alex Barron OT SR Florida St. 9
    11. David Pollack DE SR Georgia 13
    12. Marlin Jackson DC SR Michigan 12
    13. Erasmus James DE SR Wisconsin 11
    14. Thomas Davis DS JR Georgia 16
    15. Corey Webster DC SR LSU 18
    16. Mark Clayton WR SR Oklahoma 17
    17. Rodrique Wright DT JR Texas 15
    18. Mathias Kiwanuka DE JR Boston College 20
    19. Travis Johnson DT SR Florida St. 19
    20. Channing Crowder OLB SO Florida NR
    21. Heath Miller TE JR Virginia 25
    22. Marcus Spears DE SR LSU 26
    23. Dan Cody DE SR Oklahoma 14
    24. Elton Brown OG SR Virginia 23
    25. Jon Scott OT JR Texas 22
    26. Shaun Cody DT SR USC 21
    27. Matt Roth DE SR Iowa 24
    28. Jammal Brown OT SR Oklahoma 29
    29. Chris Henry WR JR West Virginia 27
    30. Haloti Ngata DT JR Oregon 28
    31. Charlie Frye QB SR Akron 32
    32. Fred Gibson WR SR Georgia 30

    Scouts, Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN Insider.