Unlike some teams, the New England Patriots’ can do pretty much anything — as long as it doesn’t completely defy logic — with the No. 15 overall pick in this month’s draft and still manage to satisfy their demanding fan base.
The closer we get to draft night, however, the more buzz surfaces linking them with one of the top five quarterback prospects, each of whom could be off the board within the first eight or nine selections based on the consensus projections.
These rumors got fans and analysts thinking that the Patriots could shock the world and trade up several picks in order to get their hands on one of Justin Fields, Mac Jones or Trey Lance, assuming Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson go one and two like everyone expects.
However, the latest draft buzz suggests New England could actually pass on a quarterback in the first round and take one later on.
According to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been in frequent contact with Texas A&M signal caller Kellen Mond since meeting him at the Senior Bowl at the end of January.
Could the Patriots change course and draft Kellen Mond in the middle rounds?
This report doesn’t clarify whether the Patriots’ front office is intrigued by Mond as McDaniels seems to be, but would the longtime coordinator really be contacting him regularly if somebody with more pull power (like Bill Belichick) wasn’t instructing him to do so?
Probably not, which is why this seems significant. The thing the Patriots need to figure out, however, is where they could get the most value for Mond, as the latest series of mocks have him going anywhere between the end of the first round to the early third.
If the Patriots are sold on Mond and don’t feel comfortable giving up draft capital to trade up for one of the other top prospects, staying put at No. 15 and addressing another position of need and circling back to nab Mond a round or two later might be the move.
After all, Mond’s draft stock has been on the rise since he was named Senior Bowl MVP and put forth an impressive display at his pro day. He amassed a 46-14 record across four years with the Aggies, including a 9-1 senior year in which he completed 63.3% of his passes for 2,282 yards and 19 touchdowns to just three interceptions.
Mond clearly has the requisite physical tools to succeed as a pro and it’ll be up to the Patriots to determine whether his other intangibles (like decision-making, accuracy and poise in a collapsing pocket) will translate to the NFL.
We wouldn’t read too much into this development just yet, but it’s definitely something Patriots fans should monitor as we inch closer to draft night, which is less than three weeks away.