Texas A&M QB Mond shouldn't be overlooked in round 1
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 this week 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."
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 season-ending 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, 19 touchdowns and three interceptions in 10 games last season. He is a potential Day 2 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," Fisher said. "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. I think all great guys do. They like all the work, all the things leading up to it."
Mond said he's talked to the Bears. With the No. 20 overall pick, the top five quarterbacks could all be off the board by the time general manager Ryan Pace makes his pick. Trading higher into the first round will come at a price.
With veteran Andy Dalton under contract, it might make 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 excited, especially them being able to watch me in person."
Fields on display: 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.
He is likely a Top-10 pick. Some are predicting he could be selected in the top three or five. It's hard to see a scenario where the Bears land Fields, unless they trade significant assets to move up from their current spot at No. 20.