One of the most talked about NFL prospects this year has been Auburn's Cam Newton.
For the last few months, sports fans have been following Newton's life—whether it's been the controversy involving his father or his victory in Arizona, when he and Auburn played for the National Championship.
The one thing about Newton is that he's overrated.
For weeks, ESPN and other sports analysts have been praising Newton, essentially saying that he will be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Well—it shouldn't happen that way.
There are several other players who either play as well as Newton or are better, and that should be considered before him. That's what you're here to see.
In the following slideshow, I will list five NFL-caliber quarterbacks from the upcoming draft, who are all better than the Auburn star.
Coming off an injury in the Chick-Fil-A bowl on new year's eve is Christian Ponder, the senior out of Florida State.
Known more for his accuracy, Ponder completed 68 percent of his passes in 2009 and 61.5 percent in 2010.
Overall, in 2010, he threw for 2,044 yards, 20 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 135.64.
In time, Ponder could be a good quarterback.
He is less of a risk than Cam Newton as most people will not expect so much out of him.
Depending on what team he is drafted to, he could be developed into someone like Drew Brees.
While his arm strength still needs some development, the fact that he's been consistent and completed over 60 percent of his passes two years in a row is promising.
Someone that hasn't been mentioned so much as the draft approaches is Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Standing at 6'7", Mallett has a great advantage over most quarterbacks. In 2010, he threw for 3,869 yards, 32 touchdowns and ended with a quarterback rating of 163.65.
Using his height as an advantage, Mallett will be able to have a great view over his lineman, allowing him to get a good read of the defense.
The ability to read plays, paired with his strong arm and accuracy make him a player that some teams need.
Not only does he have a strong skill set, but there is always room for improvement, which means that with a little help from the training staff of an NFL team, he could become a great NFL quarterback.
The Senior out of TCU threw for 2,857 yards, 27 touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 166.48.
He led his team to the Rose Bowl after having an undefeated season.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Dalton was working out with the Colts.
Dalton would be a great pick for any team, and while he's not ranked highly in many mock drafts, he's the type of player that can be molded.
Teams like the Patriots and Colts should look at Dalton so that their stars (Tom Brady, Peyton Manning) can mold this young quarterback into a player that could one day lead that team to the Super Bowl, just as he led the Horned Frogs to the 2010 Fiesta Bowl and 2011 Rose Bowl (where they second of the two games).
At 6'2", the Senior from Washington is considered one of the top quarterbacks in the draft.
On ESPN's top 32 list, he is below Cam Newton. I beg to differ. This past season, Locker threw for 2,265 yards, 17 touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 124.20.
Like Dalton, Locker is a quarterback that can shine at the next level with a few years of work.
Unlike Dalton, however, he may not need as much time to develop.
Locker played in the Pac-10, a tough conference that included Oregon, USC, Cal and Stanford. His mobility will also be an advantage at the NFL level, as it will give receivers a few more seconds to get open.
Locker would be a great pick for a team that's looking to build a franchise around him, a few years down the road.
Besides Newton, Blaine Gabbert is the most popular quarterback in the upcoming draft.
The 6'4 quarterback from Missouri threw for 3,186 yards, 16 touchdowns and a rating of 127.03.
A quality that sets Gabbert apart from the rest is his accuracy (completed 63.5 percent of his passes this season). Like Ponder, however, he also puts power behind those accurate passes.
While he's coming from a Missouri team that hasn't had much attention in recent years, Gabbert has the ability to make something of himself in the NFL.
As Cam Newton continues to struggle during offseason workouts, both with his accuracy and mechanics, it will be interesting to see the outcome on April 28th.
Although I disagree with most experts on Cam Newton, it remains likely that he will be drafted early.
Still, it will be interesting to see who goes first, Newton or Gabbert.
All in all, these quarterbacks are better than Cam Newton.
One thing is for sure—they've been a lot more consistent.
One of the main arguments for Cam Newton being ranked so highly is because he had such a great 2010, but what these analysts don't mention are his past seasons.
One good season in college football does not mean that a player should be considered the best in the country—consistency is what should be looked at, which is why players like Christian Ponder and Andy Dalton are on the list. They've produced more than one year of good college football.
For more draft-related articles, click here.