from ESPN insider: Matt Leinart did not participate in the workout portion of last month's combine and USC's pro day is not until Sunday. Still, I've seen enough over the course of the last three years to confidently say Leinart is the top quarterback prospect in the 2006 draft. Far more difficult is deciding whether Texas' Vince Young or Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler should be the second quarterback to come off the board. Young seemed to slip into hibernation following his extraordinary performance in the Longhorns' upset victory over the Trojans in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4. His absence from the highlights created a vacuum and Cutler has benefited. During the 11-week stretch between the Rose Bowl and last week's pro day workout in Austin, Texas, it was easy to get caught up in the hype tornado surrounding Cutler. After all, the only new information regarding Young's draft stock was an embarrassing Wonderlic score (15 was his best of two attempts). Meanwhile, Cutler clearly distinguished himself as the best quarterback prospect at the Senior Bowl. He had a solid all-around performance at the combine. He scored a 29 on the Wonderlic, ran the 40-yard dash in the high 4.7-second range, notched 23 reps on the 225-pound bench press and displayed the second-best arm strength of the participating quarterback prospects. The fact that he also wowed scouts with a strong passing performance in windy conditions at his Vanderbilt pro day on March 17 doesn't hurt, either. With that being said, it's critical to remember that the draft process is a marathon, not a sprint. Over the course of the last week I have gone back and studied five game films on both Young and Cutler while also analyzing Cutler's combine workout compared to that of Young's pro day workout. Although the decision is admittedly still not an easy one, I can make a stronger case for drafting Young than I can for Cutler. Unlike Leinart, both Young and Cutler project as developmental prospects in the NFL. Cutler has more traditional qualities in terms of his throwing motion and the scheme in which he played at Vanderbilt. He also possesses the stronger arm. However, Cutler's mechanics and overall decision-making skills must be improved upon before he's ready to compete for a starting job in the NFL. Although Young has as much or more work that needs to be done to his game, it's obvious to me that Young's upside is far greater -- and that trait is what sets these two apart. If I'm going to spend the type of time and money it will require to develop each of these unpolished prospects, I'd rather invest it in the individual who has the higher ceiling. Young's release point is lower than ideal and his throwing motion is unorthodox, but he gets rid of the ball quickly and at nearly 6-foot-5, he is tall enough to get away with the three-quarter release. Although he lacks elite arm strength like Cutler, Young can make all the necessary throws at the next level and has a stronger arm than several solid NFL starters. Young's accuracy as a passer has improved significantly over the course of the last two seasons. On film it is easy to witness Young's maturation in that department, and the statistics serve as confirmation. After completing just 59.2 percent of his throws as a sophomore in 2004, he completed 65.2 percent as a junior last season. It's not necessarily fair to compare statistics between the two because there are so many outside influences that play roles in those numbers, but football isn't always fair. The bottom line is that Young's completion percentage was 6.1 points better than Cutler's (59.1) in 2005, and that counts for something. There is no comparison when it comes to athleticism and playmaking skills. Cutler has good mobility and is a tough competitor, but Young, who has exceptional quickness and elusiveness for his size, is far superior in this facet of the game. Right or wrong, Young was not planning on running at his pro day workout and he still ran in the area of 4.5 seconds when talked into it by NFL brass at the last minute. Although he won't be able to run away from defenders as easily in the NFL, Young will still be a dangerous running threat who will keep defenses honest. Perhaps more importantly, he will develop into one of the league's best when it comes to generating second-chance passing opportunities with his feet. There is understandably some concern regarding Young's ability to hold up physically as a mobile quarterback who will take a lot more hits during a 16-game NFL season. After all, most mobile quarterbacks in the league are finding it increasingly difficult to stay on the field (see: Michael Vick, Daunte Culpepper, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair and Ben Roethlisberger). However, Young is a big, strong and flexible athlete with no history of durability issues. Finally, Young might have bombed the Wonderlic, but most people who have met with both Young and Cutler would agree that Young is a greater leader and a more mature person. From what I can see, Young has more of the "it factor" that it takes to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. There's no question that Cutler has the physical, mental and intangible characteristics to develop into a good starting quarterback at the next level. It's just that Young has the potential to be great in those areas. That's why if I were forced to lay my career on the line and recommend one or the other to a general manager when his team is on the clock on draft day, I wouldn't hesitate to select Young over Cutler.