Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported on Sunday that a source said the Vikings were chasing Fields when making an offer to trade up to the No. 8 pick, owned by the Carolina Panthers.
But what many outlets glossed over was the picks Minnesota offered the Panthers to move up. The Vikings were only willing to deal their No. 14 overall pick along with single third- and fourth-round picks (No. 90 and No. 143 overall).
The Panthers front office, detailed in the video below, barely entertained the offer before striking it down and were likely seeking a future first- or second-round pick in a deal. The move was more an inquisition than a plead for Fields.
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Did the Vikings want Fields? Sure. Did they want him bad? Maybe. But they didn’t pull the trigger for several reasons.
Kellen Mond was one of them.
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Vikings High on Mond
After the draft, KSTP’s Darren Wolfson reported that Vikings ownership was the biggest proponent for finding a replacement for Cousins, who is under contract for two more seasons.
“I am told by multiple people that ownership drove the bus, not necessarily on that specific quarterback, Kellen Mond, but on the idea of taking a quarterback relatively high. And if it came down to it, even taking a quarterback in the first round,” Wolfson said in an appearance on the Mackey & Judd on SKOR North podcast. “The Wilf’s didn’t want Spielman to wait until round six to take a quarterback. They didn’t want it to be like last year: waiting until round seven, snagging, Nate Stanley.”
Minnesota packaged its No. 14 overall pick to trade down to No. 21 overall and pick up two third-round picks from the New York Jets. The Vikings drafted Christian Darrisaw, the consensus No. 14 player on the board, and drafted Mond with the pick received from the Jets.
Minnesota, gauging other teams’ needs, likely felt comfortable getting Mond in the third round. However, they viewed him among the top-tier QBs in the draft.
“You see him right in that area as where the top three quarterbacks went [on our draft board],” Spielman said, per Pro Football Talk.
Spielman likely had Fields ahead of Mond on his board, but the gap between the two quarterbacks is much closer than most draft boards. The details and picks involved in the attempted trade-up corroborate Spielman’s high valuation of Mond.
Mond’s Physical Tools and Resume are Unrivaled in 2021 Draft
Mond, who was the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school in 2017, has become one of the most experienced and prolific QBs to come out of college — joining only Dak Prescott and Tim Tebow as the only SEC quarterbacks to throw for more than 9,000 yards and rush for another 1,500. He also threw for a school-record 71 touchdowns while running for 22.
He’s also one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the draft class with 1,548 dropbacks in his college career.
Mond may be one of the most pro-ready rookie quarterbacks in the NFL. However, studying under Cousins for the next two seasons will allow him time to break down and rebuild his mechanics while learning under Cousins.
His success will hinge on if he can learn and process the game at an NFL level.