Hold on, do not give up on Kellen Mond as the Vikings QB2 just yet
By Adam Patrick
Kellen Mond had a performance to forget in Saturday’s preseason game, but he still shouldn’t be counted out as the Minnesota Vikings No. 2 quarterback yet.
In a preseason matchup against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond saw his night come to an end with an ugly interception.
Facing a 3rd-and-1 from the 49ers’ 29-yard line with just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Mond received the snap, stared down the receiver to his far right, and proceed to throw a floater in the air that landed in the hands of San Francisco safety Tayler Hawkins.
It was a bad decision, but one that shouldn’t come as a shock from a quarterback in his second NFL season who is in the middle of learning a brand-new offensive scheme for the second year in a row.
Minnesota Vikings QB Kellen Mond didn’t have much help vs. the San Francisco 49ers
When the final whistle blew on Saturday night, Mond ended up with a stat sheet that had him completing 10-of-20 passes for 82 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. Definitely not good numbers from the young signal-caller who is attempting to prove that he’s worthy of being named Minnesota’s No. 2 quarterback for the regular season.
However, it’s not like Mond was dealing with the best of circumstances on Saturday. According to PFF, he was pressured on 45.5 percent of his dropbacks against the 49ers, and two of his passes were dropped, including this one by Vikings receiver Myron Mitchell.
Mond getting pressured on 45.5 percent of his dropbacks is not something that should be ignored. Pressure from the defense makes things much more difficult for a quarterback, including Minnesota’s top signal-caller Kirk Cousins, who only completed 45.9 percent of his passes when he was pressured last season according to PFF.
It’s also not like Mond is getting snaps in the preseason with the first-team offense. He’s been working with guys from the second and third-team offenses (sometimes even lower), so some of the mistakes that have been placed on his shoulders during the last two weeks haven’t been entirely his fault.
We saw what Sean Mannion looks like with the first-team offense last season in Week 17 against the Green Bay Packers. In this game with Mannion under center, the Vikings scored a grand total of 10 points and averaged 3.9 yards per play.
Minnesota already knows what they have in Mannion, but with Mond, he has at least shown a willingness to take chances down the field and attempt passes that travel more than five yards in the air.
Yes, Mond still needs plenty of work. But the Vikings don’t really have many other options to choose from, and let’s be honest, they’re probably not competing for a Super Bowl this year. So Minnesota doesn’t need an all-star backup quarterback to keep them in contention if Cousins goes down for a significant amount of time.
The best route to take might be to keep Mond around this season and help him continue his development. He’s already shown that he’s much more improved from a year ago and an entire season spent learning from Cousins and head coach Kevin O’Connell could do wonders for the young quarterback.
Maybe it’s false hope, but Mond still has plenty of potential left, and the Vikings should continue to see if they can help him become a serviceable NFL quarterback, at the very least.