Tennessee Titans coaches had USC’s Matt Leinart and Vanderbilt’s Jay Cutler ahead of Vince Young on their draft board while searching for a quarterback in the 2006 NFL draft, Greg Bishop reports in his profile of Young in the Where Are They Now issue of Sports Illustrated.
“Everyone felt like Vince was the third of the three,” former Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow says. “But there was something about the owner.”
Bud Adams, who owned the Titans until his death in 2013, made the call on drafting Young out of Texas. Young finished his career with the Longhorns with a 30–2 record in three seasons, capped with a national title. He totaled 9,167 yards of offense at Texas.
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Young spent six seasons with the Titans and Eagles in his NFL career and threw for 8,964 yards and 46 touchdowns. Young would have preferred playing for his hometown Texans but the team used the No. 1 overall pick on defensive end Mario Williams.
Leinart was drafted with the tenth overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals. He played for Arizona, the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders from 2006 to 2012.
Cutler was drafted with the 11th overall pick by the Denver Broncos. He played in Denver for three seasons before joining the Chicago Bears, where he was the starting quarterback until last season. He will be joining FOX as an analyst for the 2017-18 NFL season.