Cam Newton ranked 17th for good reason

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina quarterback Cam Newton has thrown for more yards than any quarterback in NFL history during his first two seasons, but he still doesn't get much respect in the rankings.

The first pick of the 2011 draft is 17th in John Clayton's ranking of NFL starting quarterbacks. He's behind four -- Andrew Luck at 13, Russell Wilson at 14 and Robert Griffin III at 16 -- that were rookies a year ago, and Colin Kaepernick at 15 who was the 36th player taken in 2011.

What do they have that Newton doesn't? A trip to the playoffs, a winning record and -- outside of Luck -- a better completion percentage. The Panthers are 13-19 under Newton despite his numbers. Here's what Clayton had to say:

"Analysis: Newton never got credit for playing better in the second half of last season when the offense started to click. In fact, Newton doesn't get the credit he deserves for his first two years. Throwing for close to 8,000 yards in two years can't be taken lightly. And his running scares defenses. If he can provide a little more leadership, Newton can take this franchise closer to the playoffs.''

Clayton did give Newton an up arrow, so he has that going for him.