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Mond’s Day 1 Mini-Camp struggles shouldn’t be a surprise

Let’s all try to be patient

Everytime the Vikings draft someone that I deem a reach or mistake, they struggle during rookie minicamp. When Laquon Treadwell had multiple drops during his camp after I started our 2016 NFL Draft chat with an all caps “ANYONE BUT TREADWELL”, I wrote that we should be concerned and was roundly mocked for reading into nothing (at best), or forcing my bias where it needn’t be (at worst).

Maybe I learned my lesson, or maybe I was right but not articulating things as well as I could’ve. In 2016 I should’ve said “If he can’t do this NOW? How can we expect him to do it in a big spot?”. Either way, people wrote those drops off as “concentration drops” not some Troy Williamson-ian overarching or fundamental problem, until Treadwell dropped multiple balls and is now widely known as a bust.

That’s just it, though. It’s hard to really pinpoint why bad outcomes happen in the NFL. Case in point, Kellen Mond, who I recently debated with my KDLM Sports radio show, ‘The VikingsTerritory Breakdown’ co-host Joe Oberle about this week.

The VikingsTerritory Breakdown- Dissing Cousins

The crux of my argument about Mond was the same as my missed opportunity with Treadwell was. If he was (as’s Draft Profile put it) “erratic” when throwing down the field/outside the numbers? If Texas A&M got “diminishing returns” when they asked Mond to do more despite his records at that school? If he has a ceiling solely as a back-up?

Let’s pump the brakes on the Mond-hype train, shall we?

Then we can’t just write off his struggled during the first mini-camp as “not knowing the offense/his teammates” solely. The keyword there is solely. Those things obviously contributed, but it’s not as if outside of those things the Vikings landed a prospect like Justin Fields.

The Vikings also didn’t have to trade up or use a first-rounder on Mond. Why? Because he’s a project prospect, and that’s the thing I’m trying to convey here. That I’m not saying: “SEE? He’s a bust!” but rather that Mond has A LOT to learn before we can even consider handing the reigns to an otherwise stacked/elite offense to him.

If Justin Jefferson is frustrated with Kirk “Second most accurate passer in league history by a full percentage point” Cousins? What would he do when he’s wide open and Mond overthrows him or tucks the ball down to run… Again?

If you read Will Ragatz’s breakdown of day one of rookie mini-camp it isn’t the errant throws or near pick by Mond that should pique your interest but rather, this quote:

“The first thing I noticed about Mond is that he still looks a little stiff and robotic in his movement. With continued work on his footwork and technique, that should improve.”

Every rookie signal caller needs to work on things and improve, Mond is no different but seems to have issues with his fundamentals that the profile laid out.

So, if I can be patient and say give it time, then all I ask is that the “MOND IS MAHOMES 2.0!” Crowd do the same.

Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson started back in 2015 & in 2019, and purchased before the 2017-18 season , used to write for and is the host of the ’Morning Joes’ & ‘About the Labor’ Podcasts, as well. Follow on Twitter: @vtPTSD

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1 month ago

I love the Mond pick and its great to finally have a potential future option to move on from Kirk who is a big reason we’ve been stuck at about a .500 team the past 3 years. The problem isn’t if Kirk is a good quarterback or not the problem is if its possible for a QB who’s probably the 10-13th best in the league to win despite making the second highest cap hit in all of pro football. No quarterback has ever won a Super Bowl with a cap hit that high: not Rodgers, not Wilson, not Brady, not Brees. When you pay a QB that much you are paying them to cover up for other insufficiencies such as o-line play, receiver play, bad defense, and still be able to win games. It is not possible to surround a QB with amazing players at all those spots when they will be taking up nearly 20% of your cap room, its just not that’s a salary cap league for you. Kirk only thrives when everything is perfect around him, its the little things that the great QBs do that he can’t. He’s awful at sensing pressure and avoiding it (mobile QBs like Russ can escape, more cerebral QBs such as Brady manipulate the protection scheme, move in the pocket, and get rid of the ball), Kirk is also terrible in clutch situations (he may have a high 4th quarter QBR but if you look at his QBR in situations where the Vikings are within one or two scores with under 5 mins to play all of a sudden that QBR is awful), Kirk also simply isn’t a vocal confidence inducing leader like many of the other greats are, all these intangibles add up to a good not great QB being paid to play like a hall of fame QB. Also pretending to know how good Mond will be right now is ridiculous that was one review of his draft profile, there are many other places that say he was a major steal and an amazing potential future QB, no dur he’s not perfect in everything but that’s why he was drafted in the 3rd in a situation that allows him to sit for 2 years and learn. Also what is your alternative, have no future plans after Kirk. We’re most likely not going to have a top of the 1st draft pick anytime soon so you’d either need to trade up massively to get the QB of the future or you’ll be held ransom by Kirk to give him another extraordinarily rich extension. And for all the talk if we lost Kirk we’d get a major downgrade at QB and we would suck. Have we made the playoffs any more often with Kirk than without him? With Ponder, Bridgewater, and Keenum we made the playoffs in 2012, 2015, 2017. In 3 seasons with Kirk we made the playoffs 1 time. This is because of the beauty of a rookie wage scale QB contract (Keenum’s case back QB contract), you can surround your team with much more talent and take swings at QBs who might possibly just hit and be that franchise savior.

Bill nye
Bill nye
30 days ago

I’m not sold on Mond. Every single analyst has given him a dual threat QB, great athletes but arent going to be a top QB with their arm. No dual threat QB has lasted long in the nfl and after being a running back takes its toll and they cant run, they cant beat you with their arm and fizzle out. Cam newton is a perfect example of that. I dont mind taking a QB just not a dual threat because the 2 idiots seem to think if they dont fix the o line this will fix their problem.

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