Day II of the NFL Draft is behind us and the Minnesota Vikings got off to a slow start last night, to say the least. Minnesota entered day II without a second round pick but, packing an arsenal of (4) 3rd round picks and (3) 4th’s, nobody expected that to last long. But as the round unfolded, it quickly became clear that Rick Spielman was perfectly content with letting the night come to him in round 3.
Pick 66 (from NYJ): Kellen Mond – QB – Texas A&M
The 2nd round was a madhouse of trades but none of them involved the Vikings. Instead, Spielman sat patiently, ready to make a splash at pick #66, when he drafted a “quarterback of the future”, Kellen Mond of Texas A&M. QB’s were reportedly on Minnesota’s radar but to jump at Mond with their second pick took a lot of the fanbase by surprise and it left a lot of work for Rick Spielman the rest of the round.
Kellen is a guy who miffs a lot of draft experts because he has all of the tools and intangibles to be a really good quarterback but he seems to limit himself, often looking like the guy he will back up in Minnesota. His numbers are good but not great. He throws way more touchdowns than he does interceptions but he doesn’t throw very many of either…
He never threw more than ten interceptions in a season, while at Texas A&M, and only threw three total in 2020. But… those 3 interceptions only came with 19 touchdowns, which was the lowest since Kellen’s freshman year. His yards per attempt are pretty low too. He’s… safe.
The reviews across the draft community on the Mond pick are mixed but none are bad. The Vikings wanted a mid-round QB and they got one in the mid-rounds.
Sporting News: B+
The Vikings were a good bet to stash a cerebral dual-threat passer behind Kirk Cousins at some point and came through with Mond, an experienced college starter who can be special if he can develop his mechanics and arm strength to go with his short accuracy and athleticism. Minnesota can reasonably get out of Cousins’ contract in 2022.
When watching Kellen Mond, the highs were extremely high, while the lows bordered on cringeworthy. His impressive 19-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio as a senior is both a positive and negative. Mond prefers the short to intermediate areas of the field. More often than not, he’ll shy away from pushing the ball downfield. When vertical attempts are made, they’re often misplaced or mistimed. The approach borders on oxymoronic, because Mond displays legitimate arm talent with some “wow” throws. Yet he primarily projects as a risk-averse game-manager with the added benefit of creating some with his feet.
The Athletic: B
Mond started 44 games, completed 59 percent of his passes and threw 71 touchdowns with 27 interceptions. He also ran for 1,608 yards and 22 scores. Mond has tools — a strong arm and athleticism — to work with. He can begin his career as Kirk Cousins’ backup and eventually compete for a starting role. There’s nothing wrong with the Vikings taking a shot on Mond’s upside here.
Walter Football: B+
Kellen Mond’s accruacy is a concern, but he’s a strong-armed quarterback with plenty of upside. Kirk Cousins is overrated and overpaid, so he doesn’t seem like he can consistently lead the Vikings deep into the playoffs. The Vikings will be hoping that Mond can overtake him in 2022, which will allow Minnesota to get out of Cousins’ albatross of a contract.
CBS Sports: B+
Prudent selection. Mond went from scrambling QB to a pure pocket passer in college. Athleticism is there too. Average arm but works it well at the intermediate level. Not loads of potential though. Good Kirk Cousins insurance.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan