Patriots: Could Kellen Mond’s Senior Bowl performance shift draft strategy?

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 02: Kellen Mond #11 of the Texas A&M Aggies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 02: Kellen Mond #11 of the Texas A&M Aggies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots are likely going to be in the market for a new quarterback after Cam Newton’s lukewarm performance last season, and the thought that they could use the No. 15 overall pick on a passer makes a lot of sense.

However, if Bill Belichick wants to add a quarterback, the most prudent option could be waiting until Day 2, then using a later pick on Texas A&M standout Kellen Mond.

With Kyle Trask and Mac Jones both out due to injuries, it was Mond who ended up playing the best of any quarterback in Mobile, taking home Senior Bowl MVP honors after a good week of practice. Considering how Mond helped his stock in Mobile, New England might be better off waiting until the second or third round to grab him and instead use their first-round pick on a more surefire prospect.

Should the Patriots more seriously consider Kellen Mond in the 2021 draft?

Mond’s two biggest concerns are his unusually skinny frame (he weighed in at just 205 pounds in Mobile) and his concerns with decision making (he played in a somewhat rudimentary offense at Texas A&M that didn’t task him with reading the entire field frequently).

Having said that, there’s a lot to like about him as a prospect. Mond, Texas A&M’s all-time leader in passing yards, comes with 3.5 years of experience as a high-level starter in the SEC, a period that saw the Aggies go 26-10 with him as the quarterback and Jimbo Fisher as the coach. His escapability and dynamism with his legs sets him apart from some immobile prospects in the same range, like Wake Forest/Georgia project Jamie Newman.

Ultimately, what sets Mond apart is his rocket arm. He has the ability to make every throw in the book, even when off-platform. While he might not be ready to start on Day 1, necessitating the need for a veteran quarterback, this is a shallow roster, and using the first-round pick on a star wide receiver like Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle could help a Patriots team that still carved out seven wins last year get back to the postseason.