If the New England Patriots don’t trade up for a QB or draft one that slips to No. 15, which signal-caller should they select?
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Some expect the Patriots to trade up for one of the better-known quarterbacks in the draft like Ohio State’s Justin Fields, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, or Alabama’s Mac Jones.
However, it’s entirely possible the Patriots sit at No. 15, take a player at another position who stands to help the roster while waiting until later in the draft to address the quarterback position.
A second or third-round option at quarterback for the Patriots could be Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond or Florida’s Kyle Trask.
We ran a poll on the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page to gauge which prospect fans would prefer to see Bill Belichick draft on April 30. The results were reasonably close, but Trask holds an edge over Mond, 54% to 46%.
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Both quarterbacks have their pros and cons, but the prospect that is most appealing depends on what the head coach values at the position.
The Case for Kellen Mond
Mond has come on strong over the past few months. In addition to a strong performance at his Pro Day, Mond also won the MVP at the Senior Bowl.
Mond’s physical abilities are unquestioned, and he has a favorable label as a coachable prospect. Here’s what The Athletic’s Dane Brugler said about the soon-to-be 22-year-old, who he compared to Colin Kaepernick:
A four-year starter at Texas A&M, Mond spent one season in Kevin Sumlin’s offense before head coach Jimbo Fisher brought his spread, pro-style scheme to College Station. He leaves as the school’s all-time leader in passing yards (9,661), completions (801), attempts (1,358), passing touchdowns (71) and total offense (11,269). Mond has impressive highlights with his ability to rip off beautiful throws downfield or extend plays with his legs. However, his lowlights are red flags, staying laser-locked on his targets and struggling to pick up pressures. Overall, Mond is in the Colin Kaepernick mold with his lean, angular frame, strong arm and long-striding athleticism, but his ball placement, timing and decision-making lack consistency. His natural tools will push him up several draft boards.
If the plan is to have someone learn behind Cam Newton for a year, Mond might be a great option.
The Case for Kyle Trask
Trask might be the most physically imposing of all the prospective quarterbacks in the draft from a size standpoint. Brugler lists him as 6’5″ 236 pounds. Trask has a giant arm, and he put up a strong 2020 season with some impressive weapons on offense like TE Kyle Pitts and WR Kadarius Toney.
Still, he has some limited mobility, and he’s already 23 years old. Here’s what Brugler wrote about Trask:
A two-year starter at Florida, Trask showed tremendous knowledge within head coach Dan Mullen’s scheme, playing mostly out of shotgun. Despite not starting a game over his final three years of high school (2013-15) and first three years of college (2016-18), he was extremely productive the past two seasons and led FBS in passing yards (4,283) and touchdown passes (43) in 2020 (became the first player in SEC history with at least four touchdown passes in six straight games). Trask understands where to go with the football and is at his best when he can loft throws into the void of the defense. However, his accuracy can’t be described as pinpoint, his lackluster mobility shines bright vs. pressure and there is a noticeable lack of zip on passes when he doesn’t step into his throws or use proper hip torque. Overall, Trask is a well-built, smart and tough competitor with natural touch as a passer, but his inconsistent mechanics and below-average mobility cap his ceiling as an NFL quarterback. He projects as a carbon copy of Mason Rudolph.
The Patriots have seemingly done their homework on both players, having attended Mond and Trask’s Pro Days and been in contact with the prospects leading up to Thursday’s Draft.