There is a general consensus when it comes to the top college quarterbacks available in the 2021 NFL Draft. Then there is Chris Simms’ mock draft board.
While most pundits tab former Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond as a Day 2 or Day 3 pick, Simms said he could see the 49ers using their No. 12 overall selection on Mond.
"I don't think that's crazy. I don't," Simms recently said on his Unbuttoned podcast (H/T 49ers Web Zone). "I think he fits the Shanahan system. I think he's got everything Kyle would want. I do. Again, I see touch, I see anticipation, I see phenomenal throws with no room in the pocket.”
So, does Simms expect five other quarterbacks to fly off the board before the 49ers get to their pick? Not exactly.
Simms actually ranks Zach Wilson as his top quarterback available, ahead of popular No. 1 mock draft pick Trevor Lawrence. He then ranks Mac Jones third, followed by Mond, Justin Fields and Trey Lance.
In general, most see Lawrence, Wilson, Fields and Lance as the top four options available but Simms likes what he sees in Mond, who is usually grouped with Jones and Kyle Trask as second-tier quarterbacks in this year’s draft.
Mond played 10 games in his senior season, completing a career-high 63.3 percent of his passes for 2,282 yards with 19 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 294 yards and four scores, but those aren’t the eye-popping numbers the other elite quarterbacks posted throughout their careers.
Simms said he feels like Mond would be a good fit with Kyle Shanahan, who is renowned for his offensive football mind. Looking back on Mond’s college career, Simms said the tape showed that Mond was a good decision-maker who was handcuffed by poor playcalls by the Texas A&M coaching staff.
“When those opportunities were there, damn, he stripes it,” Simms said. “He really does. He throws the appropriate ball more often than not. When I looked at the struggles of their offense, I always go look at the worst games and stuff like that. When I looked at him in a lot of those games, I didn’t come away going, ‘Kellen Mond was the problem.’ ”
If the 49ers do take Mond with the No. 12 pick ahead of others like Fields, Lance or even Jones, it would likely surprise a lot of folks. Simms likes Mond’s decision-making and tools, but he would likely need a lot of grooming before taking over for the 49ers as a potential franchise quarterback.
It’s always something of a crapshoot using your first-round pick on a quarterback, but Mond’s college career suggests he could be a major question mark at the next level. If the 49ers are really in love with him, it might be wiser to wait until later rounds while addressing other needs with the No. 12 overall selection.