The Seattle Times begins its look at the top-shelf options available in this year's draft, beginning with quarterbacks.

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Scouting the 2011 NFL draft | Quarterbacks

The Seattle Times begins its look at the top-shelf options available in this year’s draft, beginning with quarterbacks.

Cam Newton, 6-5, 248, Auburn

A rare combination of size and speed. But with just one year as a major college starter, there are questions about his experience and how well he would run an NFL offense.

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Blaine Gabbert, 6-4, 234, Missouri

He’ll have an adjustment to make coming out of Missouri’s spread offense, but he’s widely considered to be the second quarterback off the board.

Jake Locker, 6-2 ¼, 228, Washington

He once was projected as the top pick in this draft, but his stock has fallen. Still, Locker is likely to be chosen in the first half of the first round.

Ryan Mallett, 6-7, 253, Arkansas

He might have the best arm of any quarterback prospect, but he might fall out of the first round because of off-the-field concerns.

Christian Ponder, 6-2, 229, Florida State

A great fit for a team that uses the West Coast offense, the three-year starter is athletic, but he has also had multiple arm surgeries.

Andy Dalton, 6-2, 215, TCU

Perhaps the fastest riser in this draft over the past month, Dalton was a four-year starter who may wind up chosen in the first round. Many have speculated the Seahawks will choose him with their first pick.

Colin Kaepernick, 6-5, 233, Nevada

An intriguing prospect, but like Locker, he is considered a prospect who will need time to develop before he is ready to play.

Danny O’Neil

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