The NFL has been a free agency frenzy this offseason as teams have desperately been trying to fill in the gaps from last season. In addition to this, everyone is patiently waiting for the draft. Most mock drafts have had the Carolina Panthers taking one of the top caliber QBs as the 8th pick in the first round, which is something most fans would likely agree with following Teddy Bridgewater's struggles last season. Many of the experts making the mock drafts have had the internet buzzing about predicting the Panthers trading up and taking either Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Mac Jones, or Zach Wilson. While these would most likely be amazing options for the future of the Carolina Panthers offense, the real question should be, which QB should they draft if the top options are off the board? Plus, is drafting a QB in the first round really the best thing for the team?
While Fields, Lance, Jones, or Wilson would be an improvement for the team, there is an alternative in case the Panthers can't lock one down in the first round. If the Panthers don't draft a QB in the first round, the team could always use more talent on the offensive line, defensive line, or corner; which isn't an awful idea considering former first-round talent OL Jordan Gross (2003) and current Panther Taylor Moton turned out to have solid careers in Carolina. Drafting OL talent is invaluable and can be just as critical of a move as drafting a QB or WR in the first round.
The Panthers would be wise to pick up Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond on day two of the draft. Per PFF.com, Mond is ranked in the top 10 best QBs in the upcoming 2021 draft.
The 6'3'' 217-pound QB had a solid 2020 season with:
- 2,282 yards (Tied 24th)
- 19 touchdowns (Tied 20th)
- 3 interceptions (Tied 21st)
- 63.3% completion percentage
Overall QB rating of 146.9
Mond has a strong and accurate arm, he can maneuver out of a collapsing pocket and can find ways to make clutch plays in the final minutes of a game. He also likes to spread out passes across the WR corps, which is a valuable attribute for any team.
Michael Renner, a sports writer for PFF.com, mentioned an interesting point, that as a starter Mond hasn't had NFL-caliber WRs to throw to. This begs the question, unlike the other QBs that are likely to go fast in the first round, is Mond a sleeper pick in the draft? If so imagine what he could do with speed demons D.J Moore, Robby Anderson, and new addition (TE) Dan Arnold.