5 most concerning Vikings position groups heading into Week 1

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Tyler Conklin
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Tyler Conklin /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kellen Mond /

Backup QB

When the Vikings drafted Kellen Mond in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, it was assumed he’d be the backup quarterback this season. That assumption took a bit of a hit early in training camp when he struggled and missed a stretch of practices due to testing positive for COVID-19.

The play of Jake Browning in practice also led many to believe he was the frontrunner for the backup job and that Minnesota would keep three quarterbacks on the roster this year.

Mond eventually got back on the field and he played in all of the team’s preseason games this summer. He struggled badly in these matchups.

Mond failed to move the ball down the field, and he was indecisive on whether or not he should take off and run or stay put and throw the ball down the field. It wasn’t until the third preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs where Mond began to connect down the field with his receivers and he started using his athletic ability to pick up chunks of yardage on the ground.

If Kirk Cousins goes down during the game against the Bengals, the Vikings will likely run the ball the majority of the time, and try to win the game with their defense, instead of letting Mond or Sean Mannion attempt sling the ball down the field.

There’s no doubt that at some point this season, Mond will be ready to be Minnesota’s backup quarterback. That just can’t happen in Week 1. He simply isn’t there yet. He needs more time before he faces a real NFL defense and all the complexities that go along with it.