Kellen Mond Begins New Chapter

The 26 Players Who Left the Vikings on Tuesday
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Rick Spielman’s 2021 draft class remains unforgettable, especially his third round, which will forever live in infamy. Because of a trade in the first round, he held an insane four picks in that third round. The selections were quarterback Kellen Mond, guard Wyatt Davis, pass-rusher Patrick Jones, and linebacker Chazz Surratt.

Kellen Mond Begins New Chapter

Kellen Mond Begins New Chapter
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Surratt, the old linebacker prospect, was a weird choice because he was still raw. He didn’t even survive his second training camp with the team, but he has contributed as a special teamer with the Jets since. Guard Davis was supposed to be a starter in the NFL, but he was also done after his second training camp. He was on three different teams in 2022 and missed the 2023 campaign because of an injury. Jones is the only player still with the Vikings and a rotational defender.

Mond, meanwhile, is still trying to find a long-term home in the league. The next team giving him that chance is the New Orleans Saints, who signed him on Friday.

Mond was a battle-tested player at Texas A&M, throwing for 9,661 yards through four seasons. He logged 71 scores through the air and added 1,608 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground. Coming out of college, Mond was viewed as a second—or third-round quarterback, and the Vikings snatched him with the 66th overall pick, hoping he could, at one point, follow Kirk Cousins in the starting lineup.

That plan, obviously, didn’t materialize. His first training camp was rocky. He was out for a while with COVID-19, and the illness cost him his football shape. It took him almost the entire season to regain the weight. He was stuck behind starter Kirk Cousins and his backup, Sean Mannion, despite having superior physical tools compared to the career backup.

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When the team was hit by the news that Cousins was diagnosed with COVID-19 and had to miss the crucial game in Green Bay, Mannion replaced him while Mond was named his QB2, to the displeasure of the fanbase. The fans wanted to get a glimpse of Mond to see if he was the future. The unknown option, Mond, was obviously more exciting than Mannion, the known and underwhelming alternative.

After the game, Zimmer was asked if he wanted to see Mond perform in the meaningless Week 18 contests. He said no, and when asked why not, he infamously responded, “I see him every day.”

The Vikings’ loss in Green Bay daggered the season, and the head coach perhaps expected his dismissal, but he still threw Mond under the bus at the strange presser.

Kirk Cousins
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Kevin O’Connell came in, and there was a new hope that the former QB could fix and develop the young passer. In the preseason contests, it became evident that neither Mond nor Mannion was good enough to be the backup quarterback. The Vikings traded for Nick Mullens and waived both Mond and Mannion.

Mond then spent one year with the Browns and head coach Kevin Stefanski and landed for a few months on Indianapolis’ practice squad during the 2023 season. The Saints are now his fourth stop in the league.

Kellen Mond
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New Orleans employs five quarterbacks, so his way to make the roster, or even the practice squad, could be steep. Behind starter Derek Carr, the Saints have Swiss army knife Taysom Hill, last year’s rookie Jake Haener, and Nathan Peterman.

Mond will turn 25 in June.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt