Projecting Where Kellen Mond Will Be Drafted After Day 1 of 2021 NFL DraftApril 30, 2021
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond didn't hear his name called in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft on Thursday, but he may not have to wait long to find a new home on Friday.
The 21-year-old completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 19 touchdowns (three interceptions) and 7.7 yards per pass attempt. He also rushed for 294 yards and four scores for an Aggies team that went 9-1, beat UNC in the Orange Bowl and finished the year No. 5 in the Associated Press poll. The Aggies' only loss was to undefeated national champion Alabama.
There's a wide range of opinions on where Mond may fall, although his draft stock appeared to be rising in April.
On the pessimistic side, the B/R NFL Scouting Department ranks him 152nd overall among 2021 NFL draft prospects. He is eighth on the quarterbacks list.
Mond was given a 7.1 grade out of 10. On the B/R NFL Scouting Department grading scale, that places him in the "future role player/spot starter" section. He's projected to be a fourth-rounder.
Charlie Campbell of Walter Football pegged Mond as a likely Day 3 prospect with an outside shot at going Friday:
"Mond has solid intangibles according to team contacts. Some team sources said they gave Mond a third-round grade, but others have him graded on Day 3. Mond has an outside shot of sneaking into the third round, but his more likely range is the fifth or sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft."
Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network provided his draft prediction for Mond as well as some potential team fits:
"Whatever the case, Mond has some appeal as a backup or developmental starter in the middle rounds, and with his modest improvement in 2020, there’s a chance a team could take him on Day 2. Taking the dearth of QB talent after the top five into account, as well as Mond’s strong pro day performance, in which he ran a 4.57 and made nice throws on the move, Mond could go higher than expected. Teams like Washington, the Colts, Steelers, and Bears stand out as potential fits."
Pro Football Network ranked Mond 55th overall and projected him falling in the second round.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com provided a second-to-third round projection and compared him to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com also reported on April 10 that Mond is "considered an intriguing Day 2 option for teams out of reach of the top quarterbacks in April's draft."
In addition, Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher told Fowler that he's had "extensive talks" with 10-to-15 NFL teams about Mond.
The quarterback also choreographed his own pro day, and that apparently helped his cause, per Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated:
"The result was more than a few raised eyebrows. One evaluator noted that Mond was initially discussed as a late third-round or early fourth-round prospect, but he could have pushed himself into the top 50 of this month’s draft. He won the Senior Bowl MVP award in late January, which helped ignite a conversation about his draft status that had felt a little stagnant beforehand."
Overall, it appears more likely than not that Mond will be selected on Friday. The question is where and when.
His best landing spot may be with a team that has a veteran QB1 ready to roll in 2021 but doesn't have a long-term solution at the position. If he needs some time to develop, as multiple analysts have posited, then learning under that veteran and taking over in a year or two could be the best bet.
After considering all options, the guess here is that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take a shot on Mond at pick No. 64. The Bucs are locked and loaded for 2021, bringing a whole bunch of players back into the mix.
That includes Tom Brady, who will be 44 in August. At some point, the seven-time Super Bowl champion will call it quits. Until then, Mond can learn under the GOAT and potentially take over a Bucs team that just signed some of its talent to multiyear deals (e.g. edge-rusher Shaquil Barrett and linebacker Lavonte David).
They should be well set for the mid 2020s, and if Mond can slide in and perform well, the Bucs' contending window should stay open.
The Bucs, arguably, have the fewest remaining holes on their roster and can afford to take a shot at quarterback. With that in mind, the guess here is that Mond goes No. 64 to the Bucs to cap the NFL draft's second round.