BOSTON (CBS) — By now, you’re pretty familiar with the landscape of NFL draft prospects at the quarterback position. At the very top is Trevor Lawrence, a certainty to go No. 1 overall to Jacksonville. Then there is Zach Wilson, then there is Justin Fields, and then there is Trey Lance. A little farther down the line is Mac Jones.
With the Patriots set to pick at No. 15, and with a number of QB-needy teams picking ahead of them, it appears as though the Patriots will not have a great shot at landing any of the top four quarterbacks.READ MORE: 'George Floyd’s Life Mattered': Local Politicians React To Derek Chauvin Verdict
That may open the door for a player who’s thus far flown slightly under the radar compared to those other first-round talents.
That player would be Kellen Mond out of Texas A&M.
An NFL.com mock draft has him going 120th overall. CBSSports has him as a Day 2 pick as well. By that measure, he should be available if the Patriots want him, both at No. 15 overall and at No. 47 overall.
And according to some, Mond could be a diamond in the rough type of prospect.
“Way under the radar. Don’t know why. Third-purest thrower, behind Wilson and Jones,” NBC’s Chris Simms told Peter King regarding Mond. “When pocket’s collapsing, can still throw a perfect 20-yard out. I think he’s a first-round talent. After my rankings came out, I had people in NFL text me, ‘Damn you. Wish you hadn’t brought his name up in the conversation.’ Some teams love him.”READ MORE: Gov. Baker Makes National Guard Available After Chauvin Guilty Verdict
While Simms’ quarterback evaluation is not always welcome in New England, he’s not the only analyst who’s high on Mond.
“Yes, Mond is only 6-foot-2, and his hand size is only 9 1/4 inches, but neither was an issue during the season. What stood out, however, was how the ball exploded out of his hand, his ability to throw to all levels with touch, when needed, and accuracy, and how often he was able to squeeze the ball into tight windows, usually while putting it in a position where only his receiver had a chance to make a play,” CBS’ Ryan Wilson said. “Mond also showed a knack for knowing where pressure was coming from and either calmly hitting his hot route or dumping the ball off to his running back. We saw this again and again and again.”
Mond is coming off a senior season during which he threw 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions, completing 63.3 percent of his passes for 2,282 yards in 10 games. Over his last three seasons, he’s thrown 63 touchdowns and 21 interceptions for the Aggies. He also ran for over 1,600 yards with 22 touchdowns during his collegiate career.
Mond played in the Senior Bowl in January, completing 13 of his 25 passes for 173 yards with two touchdowns and no picks, earning Senior Bowl MVP honors in the process.
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Mond is certainly far from an unknown, but he’s undoubtedly received much less attention than the higher-profile quarterbacks expected to go early in the draft. Thus, he’s a name that should be kept in mind throughout New England, as Bill Belichick and Co. do their best to strategize how to enter year two of the post-Brady era.