Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond won MVP of the Senior Bowl, and he’s seemingly leaped the minds of several talent evaluators.
Mond is not a candidate to be taken at No.15 by the Patriots, but that doesn’t mean he’s not on the radar as a later-round option.
Zack Cox of NESN named Mond as a potential option in the later rounds.
Steve Balestrieri of PatsFans.com wrote an in-depth analysis of Mond’s game. He highlighted his strengths and weaknesses and how all of the above was on display in Mobile, Alabama, at the Senior Bowl.
Here is a short summary of Balestrieri’s takeaways.
The Patriots Erhardt-Perkins system is a good fit for Mond and with good coaching, he could blossom into a productive NFL starter. But he is a developmental prospect, and that means 1-2 years as a backup before he’s ready to be a full-time starter. He is in no way a Day1 starter. Mond showed his promise and his struggles as he was the Senior Bowl MVP, ripping some throws into tight windows and then staring down a WR and having a would-be interception bounce off a defender’s chest.
Mond is a Dual-Threat Quarterback
There are no questions about Mond’s arm strength, touch, or even the speed of his release. He has strong mechanics both in his upper and lower body. The arm talent allows him to fit passes into the “tight windows” Balestrieri mentioned, and he hasn’t shown the propensity to get happy feet when pressured.
While he doesn’t possess the kind of mobility that the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson uses to confound defenses, Mond has shown throughout his time in college football that he can make plays with his legs.
Mond has 22 rushing touchdowns in his career, and he has rushed for 1,609 yards.
The problem with Mond’s game has come with his tendency to stare down a single receiver. This deficiency was mostly a problem when it comes to his tight end Jaylen Wydermyer and Ainias Smith. That duo was Texas A&M’s top targets in 2020, and frequently, Mond would lock in on them as his primary target without going through progressions.
While it didn’t result in many turnovers, as he only threw three in 2020, Mond did hold the ball too long, which led to incompletions and seven sacks. Locking on to a receiver is a fixable issue if he’s given the right time and coaching, but Mond isn’t ready to be a starter in the NFL in 2021.
The Most-Likely Round to See Him Drafted
Mond seems like a decent fourth-round pick for a team that needs a young quarterback and has a bridge player in place. Preferably, the bridge quarterback wouldn’t be opposed to mentoring Mond along the way while helping him develop.
In New England, Mond would seemingly be a great pick in a later round. If the Patriots re-sign Newton, trade Jarrett Stidham for a sixth or seventh-round selection, and sign someone like Tyrod Taylor–who could compete with Cam–while still being a part of the support group for the young guy.
The Patriots could effectively cover all bases of the quarterback issue.
That doesn’t mean it’ll work out, but a three-pronged approach is still sensible.
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