As the 2021 NFL Draft draws closer we’ll profile some of the players that may be on the Patriots’ radar or that we feel would be a great fit.
The Patriots had been spoiled for 20 years having Tom Brady at the helm at quarterback, while other teams struggled for years (some of them for decades) trying to find their franchise quarterback. In 2020, the Patriots remembered what that was like after Brady signed with Tampa Bay. We’re not going to get into the same tired “whose fault was it” here… he’s gone and they were starting from scratch.
At first, the team seemed set on going with Jarrett Stidham, and by all outward indications, the Patriots seemed to have a lot of confidence in his ability to lead the team forward. And we were intrigued to see what they had in him.
But after the COVID-19 coronavirus hit, the Patriots (and the rest of the NFL), had no OTAs, minicamps etc. All of a sudden, the Patriots grew less enthused with Stidham and a late signing of Cam Newton sealed the deal. Although the coaches gave Stidham the early reps, he didn’t impress and was throwing interceptions daily in practice. Where Brady reveled in competition, Stidham seemingly crumbled.
Newton, while on paper was a steal, his on-field production was more of a nightmare. It had nothing to do with his work ethic, which was off the charts. Or his chemistry with the players, where it seemed like the players were attracted to him as their leader. But it was just a bad fit. So, the team is back to square one.
We thought the Patriots would sign a veteran (Ryan Fitzpatrick, to me, is a great fit, although we’ve been hearing rumors of Marcus Mariota), and then draft a young gun. That’s still our thoughts. So…who will the Patriots draft? Earlier we looked at Justin Fields, and Mac Jones. Today we’ll look at a QB in the mid-rounds.
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M, was a very productive QB who holds the all-time records for total offense, passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions, and attempts at Texas A&M. Starting eight games as a true freshman, he improved as he got more experience and finished with 9661 passing yards with 71 TD passes and a further 1608 rushing yardage with 22 additional TDs.
After a breakout sophomore season, including a stellar seven touchdown performance against LSU in a thrilling 74-72 overtime win in 2018, he was expected to progress further in his 2019 junior season. But instead, he took a step back, Inconsistency plagued him. He seemed to regain his form in 2020, completing a career-best 63.5 completion percentage, with 19 TDs and just 3 INTs as the Aggies improved in the SEC, losing to just National Champion Alabama.
Mond is a good athlete and has shown the ability to escape from the pocket and make plays with his feet when the pocket breaks down. He has a good but not great arm, his throwing motion is compact with a slightly higher than normal elbow position. He has shown very good accuracy with short-to-immediate throws. In his senior season, the deep ball accuracy has improved.
Mond’s biggest issues concern consistency, he seemingly flips the switch from series to series and has a bad habit of staring down receivers when he sees an opening presnap. His ability to see the entire field is still emerging and that is inconsistent as well. His footwork and mechanics are inconsistent as well…are we detecting a trend here?
His ability to handle pressure is still a concern as it seems he loses focus and holds the ball far too long. As what happened against Alabama and he was victimized for a pick-six.
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.
– Physically compact frame at 6’2 4/8, 205
– Good arm strength, can make all the throws
– Athletically shown he can break the pocket
– Has a quick release
– Inconsistency plagues his development
– Mechanics and footwork need to be cleaned up
– Stares down receivers on occasion
What his Role Will Be:
Mond will be a backup in 2021 as he learns the offense.
Will His Role Change from Year 1-2?
Possibly. With some hard work and coaching, he could clean up his issues and push for a starting job in 2022.
How Many Downs Can He Play?
What Current Player on the Roster Will He Replace?
What is his ST Value?
Mond is one of those players that at times can wow viewers with his ability to spin the ball with accuracy and into tight windows. He has shown the ability to escape the pocket and make plays with his feet.
But his inconsistencies are still a question for him, even after four years as a starter in the SEC and that, is something that will give NFL teams pause. While his ceiling is pretty high, so is his bust factor. If Mond gets in the right system with the right coaches, he could become a good NFL starter. But in the wrong place or…in the case that he has plateaued out his development and potential, his NFL career could be short.
Therefore, he’s not a Day 1 draft prospect, I would expect him to be a mid-round selection. If the Patriots or another team covets him, they’ll have to be confident that they can bring out the consistency that so far…has eluded him.
A highlight film for Mond from JustBombsProductions can be seen here:
Posted Under: 2021 Patriots Draft
Tags: Bill Belichick Cam Newton Jarrett Stidham Justin Fields Kellen Mond Mac Jones New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots QBs Tom Brady