For Auburn to have a better season than it did a year ago, it needs to find a legitimate quarterback.
Last year, the Tigers finished with a 3-9 record and ranked 116th in the nation in passing yards per game. Fortunately, the return of Gus Malzahn should make a positive impact on the entire offense.
Still, the team needs to find a player who can throw accurately as well as be a threat with his legs. There is no one like Cam Newton on the roster, but there are players who can attempt to replicate his style of play to find success.
Here is a look at the top options available, with rankings of where they should find themselves on the depth chart.
3. Kiehl Frazier
If you want veteran leadership, Kiehl Frazier is likely the best option. The rising junior has now been with the program for a few years, and his experience is certain to help him in huddles.
The problem is that he has not shown enough in games to allow people to believe he can be a successful starting quarterback in the SEC.
Last season, he completed only 53.4 percent of his passes and had two touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also contributes nothing as a runner and was sacked 18 times in only about half of the season.
Frazier lost his job last year due to ineffectiveness and has not looked much better this spring. It is hard to imagine he turns things around by the fall.
2. Nick Marshall
So far, Nick Marshall has not gotten much of a look at quarterback. However, the junior college transfer has plenty to offer his new team.
At Garden City Community College, the young player totaled 3,142 yards and 18 touchdowns in the air, plus 1,095 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground (via Joel Erickson of AL.com).
His former high school coach called him "the best athlete [he's] ever seen." This type of ability make it seem as if he is perfect for the spread offense that Malzahn used to win a national championship a few years ago.
Unfortunately, there are also negatives. He was kicked off the team at Georgia for breaking team rules, plus he struggled with decision-making last season and had 20 interceptions.
While there is probably a spot for him somewhere on the roster, he does not appear ready to be a starting quarterback.
1. Jonathan Wallace
Although Jonathan Wallace was not perfect last season as a freshman, he showed a lot of potential when he was on the field.
He was able to throw and complete passes down the field, which helped him get a reasonable nine yards per attempt. Comparatively, Frazier finished last year with only 6.49 yards per attempt. If Wallace had enough passes to qualify, he would have tied for sixth in the nation in this statistic.
Additionally, he showed at times the ability to use his legs as a weapon when there was an opening. Against Texas A&M, he finished with 71 rushing yards and 122 passing yards.
Despite his struggles around a poor offense last season, Wallace showed the ability to shake off bad performances and continue to keep focus. This is exactly the type of player that should be running the show for the Tigers.
Between his steadiness for the short term and his potential for the future, Wallace is the best option to be the starting quarterback for Auburn in 2013.