For a long time, Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond flashed the upside necessary to be a potential NFL starter. But after four years, his professional outlook remains cloudy. Where does Kellen Mond stack up in the 2021 NFL Draft quarterback class? Did he show enough growth in 2020 to be a riser, or did his stock remain relatively stagnant?
Kellen Mond NFL Draft Profile
Weight: 217 pounds
School: Texas A&M
Current Year: Senior
Regardless of the degree of success, Kellen Mond was always going to start at the college football level.
Initially from San Antonio, Texas, Mond transferred to the famed IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, for his final season of high school football. There, he distinguished as one of the best quarterback prospects in the nation, amassing over 2,700 total yards and 38 total touchdowns.
Mond was rated as the No. 2 quarterback recruit in the nation, behind Alabama commit Tua Tagovailoa. While Mond was only a four-star prospect, he was the highest-rated dual-threat quarterback. He offered an enticing skill set, standing at 6-foot-3, 202 pounds while possessing a 4.81 40-yard dash and a 30-inch vertical.
The signal caller had originally committed to the Baylor Bears, but when the Bears’ program became embroiled in scandal, he re-opened his search. He had offers from a host of schools, including Power Five juggernauts like Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Auburn, and LSU.
Mond bypassed opportunities at those programs, however, and instead chose to go closer to home. He signed with the Texas A&M Aggies. Less than three hours from San Antonio, Texas A&M provided proximity to his family while also giving him a chance to compete in the SEC.
Kellen Mond’s career as Texas A&M quarterback
As is often the case for highly-rated quarterback prospects, it didn’t take long for Mond to see the field. He immediately took on a role as Nick Starkel’s backup as a true freshman and ended up starting eight games after relieving an injured Starkel against UCLA. Mond completed 117 of 227 attempts for 1,375 yards, eight touchdowns, and six interceptions in his true freshman campaign.
Mond’s performance warranted a quarterback battle in the ensuing offseason, and by the start of the season, Mond earned the starting job over the redshirt sophomore Starkel. Mond then locked down the position with a breakout sophomore campaign in 2018.
That year, Mond completed 238 of 415 passes for 3,107 yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. His season was highlighted by a seven-touchdown performance in a 74-72 seven-overtime win against the LSU Tigers.
Mond’s prolonged career as the starter
By now, Mond was entrenched as the starter with the Aggies. But as he became more established, the expectations began to mount, and Mond didn’t keep up. Although he was expected to make another jump in 2019, he instead regressed. Texas A&M’s win total decreased, as they ended their season unranked. While Mond’s completion percentage increased, his yardage output and his yards per attempt declined.
Mond came into 2020 needing another bounce-back year, and on paper, he got it. Mond saw drastic improvement statistically, throwing for 172 completions, 2,050 yards, 19 touchdowns, and just three interceptions on 271 attempts. He logged a career-best completion percentage at 63.5%, as well as a career-best yards per attempt at 7.6, leading the Aggies to an 8-1 regular season record.
But while the stat sheet showed development, did Mond match the development on film?
Does Kellen Mond’s NFL Draft film match up with his production?
Like several other mid-round quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft, Kellen Mond offers tangible upside with his physical traits. He’s a good athlete for his size, and he runs tough. His physical profile isn’t quite as imposing as Jamie Newman or Trey Lance.
Mond’s arm talent
However, he’s still densely built, and he can break some tackles when he’s built up speed. His athleticism also affords him impressive pocket evasion ability, and he has the traits to produce off-script and off-platform.
Additionally, Mond also has good arm strength. He can generate good velocity with relative ease, although his arm elasticity leaves more to be desired. Mond’s throwing motion is compact enough, but his arm is a little tight, and his elbow starts a little higher than preferred. This makes his throwing motion more concentric than elastic, limiting his ability to put different angles on throws.
Mond’s lack of throwing versatility is a concern. Still, there’s also reason to believe that if he can loosen up and refine his upper body mechanics, he could unlock more touch, precision placement, and trajectory manipulation.
What else might hold Kellen Mond back?
The biggest issues with Mond stem from his consistency in multiple areas. Mond is a fairly streaky player, and that never improved much over the course of his collegiate career.
Even between drives, Mond can show great promise one moment and make head-scratching decisions the next. There are times when he shows the ability to process across the entire field, but he doesn’t go through all his reads more often than not. There are times when he locks in on his first read as well.
How is Mond’s accuracy?
Additionally, accuracy is also a concern with Mond. Although he’s improved with his accuracy over the course of his career, there is still a degree of volatility in his game.
With that being said, the Texas A&M quarterback can potentially fix this if he works on his mechanics. Loosening his arm through his release and maintaining consistent footwork and a solid base are among the items on the to-do list. He’s shown progression in spurts, but it’s never consistent enough to make a lasting jump.
Mond can work toward correcting these issues at the Senior Bowl while also keying in NFL teams on his leadership abilities. Mond was never a full-time captain at Texas A&M, and while it’s important not to read too much into surface data points like this, it’s worth noting.
Is Mond the kind of quarterback that teammates rally around? That’s important at the NFL level, and scouts will be looking for Mond to answer that question in Mobile.
Kellen Mond’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Kellen Mond is a lot like Jamie Newman, in a sense. Both are good athletes with live arms, and both have immense developmental potential. And both show inconsistency as passers, both with accuracy and with mental progressions. The only difference between them? Mond is a four-year starter, while Newman only has one full year under his belt.
In a vacuum, Mond gets the edge for his starting experience. However, it’s worth wondering why his development was so stagnant, despite getting so much time to grow. Can Mond’s withstanding potential be reached, or is he maxed out as an explosive but inconsistent signal caller who’ll never completely iron out his issues?
Teams that could unlock Mond’s full potential
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. Teams like the Colts, Steelers, and Bears stand out as potential fits.
Mond is by no means a Day 1 starter, but in a situation that affords him time and support, he could eventually start to trend upwards.
Mond’s stagnation as a prospect over the last two years gives onlookers pause. But the Texas A&M quarterback’s tape is dotted with high-quality throws layered between less inspiring moments. There’s enough upside there to warrant consideration as a future starter, and while Round 1 isn’t a possibility anymore, he should have a chance to work into a role in the NFL.
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