Don’t Expect Much Kellen Mond Action in Year One
Image courtesy of Twitter.
Image courtesy of Twitter.
The Minnesota Vikings find themselves in an advantageous position for a developmental quarterback at the start of the 2021 season. Current signal caller Kirk Cousins has pledged financially to the Vikings for two more seasons, although the The team could theoretically trade him during the 2022 offseason if that plan increased.
Follow the money, however. It’s Cousins for 2021 – and probably 2022 unless the 32-year-old is having an unusually rotten season.
And that sets the table well for Vikings rookie quarterback Kellen Mond. The former Texas A&M student was drafted after Round 3 in April, a byproduct of a trade executed by Viking boss Rick Spielman. Minnesota sent the 14th overall pick and 143rd overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to the New York Jets for the 23rd overall and two more 3rd round picks. Spielman reversed that deal with left tackle Christian Darrisaw, quarterback Kellen Mond and right guard Wyatt Davis. The Jets have drafted a guard in Alijah Vera-Tucker. On paper, this was an illustrious deal for Minnesota.
But Mond won’t see a lot of action right away. Injuries could of course occur. However, the plan is for Mond to watch and learn – a task often assigned to a rookie signal caller, especially in the “old” NFL. Today, there is more enthusiasm to start a quarterback from the gate rather than strengthening his maturity on the bench.
In one article on expected playing time for rookie quarterbacks in 2021, Launderer reportBrad Gagnon’s planned the field predictions for all notable freshman passer. For Mond, the outlook for 2021 is zero:
“There’s a lot to like about the strong, athletic Mond coming out of Round 3, but the Minnesota Vikings owe Kirk Cousins $ 76 million by the end of the 2022 campaign, according to Spotrac. They are too deep. Plus, Cousins might lack consistency, but he’s coming off the top two-rated seasons of his career. And Vikes aren’t good enough or bad enough to end up playing meaningless games in December or January, which means Mond will likely have to wait at least a year.“
Here, Gagnon illustrates a limbo for the Vikings, disabling an immediate commitment to Mond. When the Vikings are in a “not good enough” or “not bad enough” classification, the product is considered stale where a Zimmer-needs-to-go mentality is looming. If it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers, for example – well, they’re just seen as a bastion of consistency. Holiness is strange.
Either way, indeed, the Vikings are all-in again. The team has been preaching a win-now mode since around 2016. Mond doesn’t easily accommodate urgency, so he’s going to relax and grow. This philosophy has already worked with Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, etc. To be fair, there are also a lot of occasions where the ‘throw it to the wolves’ approach also works. See: Russell Wilson or Justin Herbert.
Nevertheless, the Vikings of 2021 are not. Maybe Mond could bow to offensive glances in certain situations, but does Zimmer really feel like the type of head coach who chompes on the cake to try out eccentric offensive things? Imagine Minnesota with a hill of Taysom.
Cousins is being paid near the top of the company for a salary – for better or for worse – so he’ll have at least one more chance to line up his offense with a robust defense led by Zimmer.
It’s still the utopian fantasy: an attack like 2020 with a healthy Dalvin Cook, paired with a semblance of defense from the 2017 Vikings – and mingles with an offensive line that isn’t shabby.
Maybe it will finally happen in September.