Anytime a player is being discussed in terms of the NFL Draft, it is natural to compare them to previous players from that school. In the latest in our series, I look at how Kellen Mond compares to the last big-name QB prospect to come out of Texas A&M, Johnny Manziel.
Johnny Manziel vs. Kellen Mond: Comparing the Texas A&M QBs
Johnny Manziel profile
Johnny Manziel is now a member of the FCF Zappers in the Fan Controlled Football League. Since being drafted with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Browns, Manziel has now been in four different football leagues, including the CFL and AAF. With the Browns, Manziel appeared in just 15 games over two seasons. He threw as many interceptions as he did touchdowns (7). Manziel’s career completion percentage in the NFL: 57%.
Needless to say, this isn’t what teams are after when investing in a first-round quarterback. Yet, there was a time when Manziel’s stock was much higher than it is today.
A Texas native, Manziel was heavily recruited coming out of college as was Kellen Mond. He committed to Oregon but changed his mind and enrolled at Texas A&M in 2011. He was redshirted a season, with Ryan Tannehill acting as the Aggies’ starting quarterback that season.
Manziel took over for Tannehill in 2012 as the starting QB and was a two-year starter for Texas A&M before going to the pros. During that two-year stretch, Manziel lit it up. He finished his college career with 7,820 passing yards, 2,169 rushing yards, a 68.9% completion percentage, a 63:22 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and was awarded the Heisman Trophy in 2012.
Heading into the 2014 NFL Draft
Manziel was clearly a flashy high-profile college player and NFL prospect. There wasn’t a clear-cut top quarterback prospect in 2014. Blake Bortles managed to go first off the board with the third overall selection. Manziel was the second quarterback selected. Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr also went within the first 36 picks overall.
As a prospect, Manziel’s size was a concern, and he was an inherent risk-taker. The Aggies QB, like Kellen Mond, was an above-average athlete for the position. However, he quickly realized in the NFL that he wasn’t one of the most athletic players on the field for any snap of his career. As such, he had a much harder maturation buying time and playmaking at the next level than at Texas A&M.
He had an okay arm but lacked discipline and also didn’t have the advantage of throwing to a nearly uncoverable receiver, Mike Evans, during his time with the Browns. That was a huge advantage Manziel had in college. He also had his share of off-the-field issues and concerns, of course.
Kellen Mond profile
As for Kellen Mond, he certainly will not be considered by NFL teams in the first round of this upcoming draft. In fact, he is unlikely to be drafted on the second day, although that isn’t totally out of the question.
Like Manziel, Mond was a massive national recruit after transferring to the IMG Academy for his senior year. He, too, of course, chose Texas A&M and enrolled in 2017. Mond had previously committed to Baylor. Mond began his career backing up Nick Starkel, but Starkel was injured in the first game of the season, and the freshman took the job from there.
He started for four years for the Aggies, playing in 46 career games — many more than most draftable quarterbacks this year. Mond won his share of college games and finished his college career with good, but not great, numbers. He wasn’t in Manziel’s league in this capacity — including as a runner.
But, Mond is the Aggies all-time leader in most major quarterback statistics that he compiled over his four years. Mond did have a very impressive Senior Bowl game, though. He could have created some momentum for himself as we come down the home stretch of this draft season.
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What can Kellen Mond bring to the table in the NFL?
Mond is a good athlete with a strong arm and a lean, long frame. If you just watched his highlight reel, you would think that Mond was an elite prospect for the next level. However, his tape is also littered with inconsistencies.
His recognition skills aren’t where you would like them to be — especially after playing so many snaps (1,548 dropbacks) at the college level. But it is Mond’s accuracy that is most worrisome. Rarely do we see quarterbacks improve their accuracy at the next level, although there are a few recent examples, like in the case of Josh Allen and Dak Prescott.
Mond really could have used someone even close to Evans to throw to — a luxury he didn’t have at all as the Texas A&M QB. He did play in a pro-style offense under Jimbo Fisher.
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Mond won’t be highly drafted, but there are some tools to work with. You would prefer that he took more steps forward during his extended stay at Texas A&M, but you also have to like Mond’s chances of having a more successful career than his predecessor Manziel.
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