It’s no secret; the New England Patriots need to draft a QB this month. Cam Newton is the likely starter in 2021, but considering he only signed a one-year deal, it appears the Patriots are likely to look to the draft for their QB of the future, but who will it be?
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If you’re waiting on the team to trade up into the Top 5 for one of the more prominent names like Ohio State’s Josh Fields or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, you might be disappointed. The Patriots have been in contact with Texas A&M star Kellen Mond, and there are several reasons to believe he could be their guy.
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“We’ve got to set up some type of meeting,” Mond said in a recent interview with Jim McBride of the Boston Globe. “They’re starting to do formal meetings, like interview-style. Senior Bowl, it was more very formal, like, ‘Hello Kellen Mond, tell me about you.’ And then now it’s gotten more deeper into football. So that should be good.”
Mond, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 211 pounds, according to the draft guide from The Athletic’s Dane Brugler, is known for his arm strength, smooth athleticism, and coachability.
He would appear to be a solid understudy for Newton and a potential starter in 2022 if all goes to plan. The talk is building in Mond’s direction as it pertains to the Patriots. Pro Football Focus examined the idea, and a recent Pat’s Pulpit mock draft from Pat Lane had the Patriots trading up in the second round to get him.
The #Patriots will likely miss out on the top-5 QBs barring a trade up.
Could Kellen Mond in Round 2 be and option should they fail to make a move?https://t.co/pxLmmSeWuL
— PFF NE Patriots (@PFF_Patriots) April 9, 2021
The Book on Mond’s Game
In Brugler’s breakdown, Mond drew comparisons to Colin Kaepernick from a physical standpoint, but his inconsistent ball placement was mentioned.
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.
It should be noted Mond spent only one season in a pro-style offense, so much of what people saw in 2020 was of him still learning the kind of system he’ll be running in the NFL. Also, Brugler mentioned, Mond “takes hard coaching without losing his cool demeanor.” That would be important in the NFL, but especially in New England with Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Other Later-Round Options for the Patriots at QB
In addition to Mond, prospects like Florida’s Kyle Trask, Stanford’s Davis Mills, and Georgia’s Jamie Newman all figure to be QBs available on Day 2 of the draft. None of them are perfect prospects because if they were more highly touted, they wouldn’t be projected as Day-2 picks.
Still, if no other franchise has learned how valuable a late-round QB pick can be, it’s the Patriots who found arguably the greatest of all time, Tom Brady, in the sixth round.