Is Kellen Mond a first-round QB in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The buzz surrounding Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is increasing, but will he be selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft? With five quarterbacks expected to go in the first round of the NFL Draft, could we see Mond sneak into the back end of the first round? Pro Football Network Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo and Chief Draft Analyst and NFL Insider Tony Pauline discussed their thoughts on the March 24 edition of Draft Insiders.

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Could Kellen Mond be a first-round QB?

With Kellen Mond’s stock rising, Pauline gave his views on the Texas A&M quarterback.

“Could it happen? Yes. He’s not a top-40 pick on my board. He’s physically gifted, he can make some incredible throws, he can make plays in the pocket or on the move. He makes a lot of wow throws on both sides of the spectrum. He will slice the ball through the tightest of windows with speed into the receiver’s hands and you go ‘wow.’ And then he’ll throw a ball into the defender’s hands and make you go equally ‘wow’ — as in, what the hell was that?”

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The inconsistency of Mond’s play is not the only concern that Pauline raised on the show.

“The thing with Mond is, and he shows this on film, showed this at the Senior Bowl, he is very slow to move his head from the primary targets. Tends to lock down on that No. 1 receiver, which will kill him at the next level. He has got great upside, but, like a lot of these guys, it is going to come down to coaching and development and the culture of the franchise.”

Kellen Mond could be a good fit for a team willing to give him a year to develop

One concern with young QBs coming into the NFL is always the rush to get them on the field. On the show, Pauline discussed how Mond has the potential and physical traits to be successful. However, he needs to land in the right situation. For his long-term success, getting drafted by a team that can exercise patience would be ideal.

“I think Kellen Mond, when you look after Trevor Lawrence and Trey Lance, physically, is probably one of the best packages at the quarterback position in this year’s draft. I just think he needs a lot of work. If he is over-drafted, they are going to want him to play quickly. I think if he is drafted late in Round 1 by a team like the Saints or a team like Pittsburgh, where they might sit him for a year, that is not a bad situation. I have a tough time seeing him as a first-round pick right now.”

Kellen Mond had the best year of his college career in 2020

Mond gradually improved throughout his college career. As a freshman, he had just a 51.5 percent completion rate. He would combine that with 8 touchdowns and 6 interceptions on 227 pass attempts. However, his completion rate grew year on year, and he improved his touchdown-to-interception ratio significantly.

After a slight dip in 2019, Mond rebounded nicely in 2020

Mond’s sophomore year offered promise. He threw 24 touchdowns to 9 interceptions while averaging 7.5 yards per attempt. On the other hand, his completion percentage still sat below 60 percent (57.3).

In 2019, that completion percentage increased to 61.6 percent. Despite the accuracy improvement, the yards per attempt dropped to 6.9, and he threw just 20 touchdowns to 9 interceptions.

Featured | NFL Draft Prospects 2021: Pauline’s updated big board, player rankings

The shortened 2020 season saw Mond put it all together. On just 297 passing attempts, he threw 19 touchdowns to 3 interceptions, with a pass completion rate of 63.3 percent. Additionally, he increased his yards per attempt to 7.7. In a full 13-game season, Mond was on pace for 25 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and 2,967 passing yards.

On top of those passing statistics, Mond added 294 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground. In his career, Mond has 1,609 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns.

Should the track record of Jimbo Fisher’s QBs in the NFL impact the evaluation of Kellen Mond?

As with any young QB entering the draft, comparisons are made to previous NFL players who came from that system. In the case of Kellen Mond, that history includes the likes of first-round QBs JaMarcus Russell, Christian Ponder, E.J. Manuel, and Jameis Winston. However, Wingo explained why the NFL history of those QBs should not alter the way Mond is viewed.

“No one was debating whether Jameis [Winston] should have been the first pick in the 2015 Draft. There is two things, there is the way to look at this through the evaluation eyes leading up to the draft, and then there is the hindsight glasses looking at how that played out leading up to the NFL.

“I think if you are looking at that with Jameis, you are looking at it with the hindsight glasses as opposed to the glasses of the evaluation process. In the evaluation of Kellen Mond, I do not think it is fair to look at how bad of a bust JaMarcus [Russell] was or what’s happened to Jameis since. Jameis, based on how he played in college, he should have been the first overall pick in 2015.”

Additionally, Pauline discussed what is the more pressing concern when looking at Mond’s potential in the NFL: “The better question is, what is the track record of the team and the franchise that drafts Kellen Mond? Have they been able to develop quarterbacks? I am not worried about a Jimbo Fisher quarterback when he enters the league. I’m worried about where that quarterback is when he enters the league and what team, what franchise he ends up with.”

Want more 2021 NFL Draft prospect news? Want to do your own mock draft?

Dive into PFN’s Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator and test your own drafting acumen. Continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis beyond Kellen Mond as a prospective first-round QB. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay in the loop on all things college football and the NFL Draft landscape.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor and the Fantasy Football Director at Pro Football Network. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN

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