The Minnesota Vikings made some noise with their first pick in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Despite having several areas on the roster that needed improvement, Rick Spielman and company felt it was within the team's best interest to invest in a developmental quarterback.
Kellen Mond is coming off a prolific career at Texas A&M where he broke several passing records for the Aggies. Throughout four seasons as the starter Mond showed that he’s capable of running an NFL style offense. Not only did he pick up on Jimbo Fisher’s offense quickly, but he did so while showing signs of improvement year-over-year.
When the pick was announced for the Vikings it seemed obvious that they were looking at a potential life after the Kirk Cousins era. It’s clear that Mond still has a ways to go in his game, so it was a smart move for the Vikings to get someone with a high upside learning underneath Cousins.
There have been a few good quarterbacks taken between the third and fourth rounds over the last several years. Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson and Cousins are a few that have found success after being taken in the mid-rounds, but the comparisons to Prescott are the most intriguing.
Like Mond, Prescott had a record-setting career during his college years where he played at Mississippi State. In 49 career games for the Bulldogs Prescott totaled 9,376 passing yards and 70 touchdown passes, both of which are still records for the school.
Prescott had a career completion percentage of 62.8, averaged 8.0 yards per attempt and only threw 23 interceptions. He also showed off with his legs rushing for 2,521 yards and 41 touchdowns during that time frame.
Looking at strictly the numbers, it’s easy to see why comparisons have been made between Prescott and the Vikings new quarterback. Both were looked at as mobile, developmental prospects, but both set school records through the air going up against SEC defenses regularly.
In 46 career games for the Aggies, Mond totaled 9,661 passing yards and 71 touchdown passes, both of which set records for Texas A&M. His career completion percentage finished at 59.0, despite it improving every season.
Mond averaged 7.1 yards per attempt and only threw 27 interceptions. He wasn’t as prolific as Prescott with his legs, but he still ran for 1,609 yards and 22 touchdowns in four years.
Another interesting comparison comes from the Senior Bowl, where it was obvious the Vikings did their homework this year. There wasn’t a combine for teams to attend, so seniors had to show off their talents in Mobile, Alabama.
Mond did exactly that, winning the MVP of the Senior Bowl after putting on a solid performance. Prescott was awarded the MVP of his Senior Bowl as well, just five years prior to Mond.
Both quarterbacks arrived to a team that had witnessed good quarterback play in the years prior, but neither Tony Romo or Kirk Cousins had done much in terms of carrying their team through a dramatic playoff run.
The 2021 Vikings team is going to be at its best if Cousins is under center, giving Mond plenty of time to grow into the system. Despite breaking records in college, it’s clear that Mond has some work to do in loosening up his playstyle before having the keys handed to him for the Vikings offense.
Even though Mond has a ways to go and Prescott is a top-ten quarterback in the league already, it seems as if the comparisons coming out of college are fair. This doesn’t mean that Mond is ever going to be on the same level as Prescott, but the career paths of the two former SEC quarterbacks are too similar to not be compared.
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