Kellen Mond takes a lot of pride in being the quarterback who helped build the Texas A&M football program back to prominence in 2020.
In Mond’s eyes, he’s the anti-Mac Jones or the anti-Trevor Lawrence.
“Multiple guys, especially at bigger schools, a first-rounder leaves and then you’re the next-man-up,” Mond said Tuesday following his Pro Day. “You’re just filling a role that was already there. But actually having to change a whole entire culture, I think that’s what makes me different.”
To be fair, Texas A&M hadn’t exactly fallen off the map.
Following his freshman year in 2017, the school fired coach Kevin Sumlin after a 7-5 regular season. It hired a coach in Jimbo Fisher with plenty of name recognition. Plus any program situated in the SEC West has certain advantages that other conferences struggle to replicate.
Still, by Mond’s senior season in 2020, the Aggies went 9-1, were on the cusp of the College Football Playoff, and finished the year ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll – its highest end-of-the-season ranking since 1939.
“With me, I’ve been through a lot of adversity,” Mond said. “I think it’s pretty true and telling on how a quarterback is able to change a whole entire culture, and I think that’s something that is slept on throughout the process.”
Mond threw for 2,282 yards with 19 touchdowns and three interceptions in 10 games last season. He is a potential day-two draft pick in next month’s draft.
For the teams who aren’t lucky enough to select one of the top five quarterbacks in the draft – Clemson’s Lawrence, Alabama’s Jones, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, Ohio State’s Justin Fields or BYU’s Zach Wilson – Mond is a popular name.
Fisher, entering his fourth season coaching Texas A&M in 2021, has fielded plenty of calls about his QB.
“Quite a few GMs, head coaches, scouts, all that,” Fisher said. “We’ve gotten quite a flow of guys. And I always say this, we always talk about the physical skills, but I think it’s the mental skills and the mental drive and fortitude to be able to succeed with the ups and downs of playing that position.
“Kellen loves the process of football as much as he likes playing football. I think all great guys do. They like all the work, all the things leading up to it.”
Mond said he has talked to the Bears. With the No. 20 overall pick in the first round, those top five quarterbacks could all be off the board by the time Bears general manager Ryan Pace makes his pick. Trading higher into the first round will come at a price.
With veteran Andy Dalton already under contract, it might make more sense to take a chance on a second-round quarterback.
“I’ve had a lot of interactions with the Bears,” Mond said. “I definitely see a connection and, I don’t want to say any names, but I’m definitely excited, especially them being able to watch me in person and watch me spin the ball in person.”
Fields shows off arm, speed: Meanwhile, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields showed off his ability Tuesday at Buckeyes Pro Day in Columbus, Ohio.
He ran an unofficial 4.44 in the 40-yard dash. That would’ve been the fastest 40 time by a quarterback in more than a decade.
Fields was also very impressive in his passing drills. His arm paired with his speed is a combination that NFL scouts have to love.
Fields declined to take questions from the media Tuesday.
Fields is likely a top-10 pick. Some are predicting he could be selected in the top three or top five picks. It’s hard to see a scenario where the Bears land Fields, unless they trade some signifiant assets to move up in the draft from their current spot at No. 20.