Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond isn’t getting buzz as a first-round prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft, but at least one former head coach believes in his ability to play at the professional level.
Hue Jackson coached up Mond leading up to his pro day showcase, and according to an article by NESN’s Rickey Doyle, Jackson called Mond the “sleeper of the draft.”
Mond was a four-year starter for the Aggies, and it’s worth noting that he made big strides in his final season, not dissimilar to what Dak Prescott did once upon a time at Mississippi State.
Had Texas A&M qualified for the College Football Playoff, perhaps Mond would be viewed differently. Instead, despite the fact that he hails from a pro-style offense, scripted his own pro day and is getting all kinds of positive buzz, he’s not considered a potential franchise QB.
Let’s take a look at the best team fits for Mond, and when these clubs may target the decorated Texas A&M field general.
Kellen Mond to New England Patriots
In the aforementioned NESN report, The Boston Globe is cited as the source for all the buzz building around Mond possibly landing in New England.
The implication here is that the Patriots have checked in with Mond far more than once, and spoke to him at length while he was at the Senior Bowl. Mond is clearly capable of digesting a complex playbook, and since New England is moving toward a more athletic QB prototype in the post-Tom Brady era with Cam Newton, it’d make sense for the Pats to bring Mond in.
Given how aggressive Bill Belichick was in free agency, though, it’s perhaps unnecessary for New England to wait until the second or third round. Instead, Belichick can trade a ton of draft capital to move up in the first-round order and select someone like Justin Fields or Trey Lance.
Then again, this runs counter to what Belichick likes to do. He enjoyed having Brady at a bargain rate for two decades, and acquired TB12 with a sixth-round pick in the first place. Even the most promising long-term successor to Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, wasn’t picked until the second round.
Put it this way: it’d be more surprising if the Patriots traded up in Round 1, as opposed to, say, trading a high pick for Garoppolo or acquiring Mond with the 46th overall pick in the second round.
Kellen Mond to Washington Football Team
One thing is certain: Mond feels like the exact opposite of 2019 first-round bust Dwayne Haskins from an intangibles standpoint, and is more experienced and fundamentally sound than Haskins was coming out.
Ryan Fitzpatrick seems like a great stopgap option, and with such a great defense and an added playmaker to throw to in Curtis Samuel, Fitzmagic could have Washington believing in miracles by the end of the 2021 campaign.
We saw how well Taylor Heinicke played in a spot playoff start this past postseason. Imagine plugging in an even more dynamic talent in terms of arm strength and athleticism in Mond.
The latest scuttlebutt suggests the Football Team might be in the market to make a big splash and trade up for a QB in the 2021 draft. With Fitzpatrick already in the fold and Heinicke under contract, that feels somewhat unnecessary.
Washington should stay put in Round 1 and capitalize on its chance to add another first-round receiver such as Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman at 19th overall. If there’s a fear that someone like New England might take Mond, the Football Team can trade up from 51st in the second round and get him that way.
Mond is a perfect developmental prospect behind Fitzpatrick and Heinicke who could easily push the latter for the main backup job as a rookie. From there, let the best man win an open 2022 competition depending on what happens this coming season.
Kellen Mond to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Given that the Buccaneers managed to keep all 22 of their Super Bowl LV starters, they could definitely be in the market to get someone like Mond to be Brady’s eventual replacement.
Unlike his situation at Texas A&M, Mond would inherit a team that’s absolutely stacked with talent on offense. Between Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson, there are four legitimate receivers who are likely in Tampa to stay for the long haul. Mond has the arm talent and football IQ to capitalize on such favorable circumstances.
Because quarterbacks are such a hot commodity, there’s a very real possibility that Mond’s stock skyrockets and there’s a frenzied effort for teams to get him early on Day 2. The Bucs could crush everyone else’s spirits by simply taking Mond 32nd overall with the last pick of the first round.
On the other hand, Mond is widely considered more of a late Day 2 to early Day 3 prospect, which lends more credence to Hue Jackson’s “sleeper” label. Tampa Bay could just stay put at No. 64 in Round 2 and get Mond then.