Everybody that knows anything about the Minnesota Vikings knows that their QB1 is Kirk Cousins. Where there is a fair amount of debate is who should be QB2. The Vikings have the young gun Kellen Mond with an incredible amount of athleticism yet lacks experience due to the fact that Mike Zimmer never gave him a chance to play.
The other “competitive” option would be Sean Mannion. Honestly, the only thing that I can see that he brings to the table is above-average height, and he has been in the league for several years.
Asked if there was consideration to start Mond, Zimmer said “no.”
“There really wasn’t,” he said. “We knew that Sean was coming back, and Sean is extremely bright, he studies like crazy, he’s a great competitor. He’s put in his time, he’s earned this opportunity, and I think he’ll do great.
“Sean knows the gameplan cold. As I said, he’s an extremely brilliant person. He puts in the work every single week like he’s going to be the starter. And he is this week.”
Will Kellen Mond Push Mannion For The Backup Role?
For whatever reason, the previous regime had no faith in Kellen Mond. Granted, his preseason performances did leave a lot to be desired. He played in three games and only completed 28 of his 51 passing attempts for a total of 310 passing yards.
A couple of the positives in those games include that he only threw one interception, and he was only sacked one time, losing three yards. All of that is to say that he ended up with a QBR of 65.0 throughout those three games.
Sean Mannion’s NFL stats are not very exciting, either. It might even be less impressive than Mond’s because he has been in the league much longer. He has played a total of nine preseason games across his seven seasons in the pros. In those nine games, Mannion has gained a total of 644 passing yards.
He completed 81 of his 131 passes in those games for a completion percentage of 62%, which is better than Mond’s 55% but still not great. Between those three preseasons, Mannion averaged a QB rating of just under 76. He also threw three interceptions and was sacked seven times. He lost a total of 35 yards on those sacks.
So it’s not fair to compare these guys by looking at their NFL stats because their experience levels are so different. Why don’t we take a look at their college stats?
Kellen Mond played for Texas A&M in the SEC, while Mannion played for Oregon State in the Pac-12. Most people would agree that the SEC is a significantly harder conference to compete in than the Pac-12.
Mond was able to compete at a high level for four years while at Texas A&M. He amassed a total of 801 completions on 1,358 attempts which works out to a meager 59% completion rate.
He was able to gain 9,661 yards which is an average of 7.1 yards per attempt. Mond had 71 TDs and 27 INTs thrown. During his four years at Texas A&M, his average quarterback rating was 132, which is solid when you consider that a perfect rating is 158.3.
Mannion completed 1,187 passes on 1,838 attempts for a completion percentage of 64.6% in his four years at Oregon State. He passed for 13,600 yards which work out to 7.4 yards per passing attempt. In that time, Mannion finished with 83 TDs and 54 INTs. His college career’s QB rating was slightly higher than Mond’s, at 135.8.
Looking at their passing stats, they look pretty even. You might be tempted to think that Mannion is the better QB, given that he had a better overall QB rating. However, I think it is essential to look at the fact that Mannion threw twice as many interceptions as Mond.
Another set of stats that helps the argument immensely for Mond is their respective rushing stats. When looking at Mannion’s stats, I had to refresh the page to ensure they were accurate.
Mannion’s rushing statistics read like an absolute joke. He averaged negative yards per carry every season that he played for Oregon State. He had a total of 132 rushing attempts for a total of -804 yards. This brings his average per rush to -6.1 yards. He also scored a total of 2 TDs on his rushing attempts.
Mond’s rushing statistics read more like a Madden stat sheet than real life. He had a total of 438 attempts for 1609 yards. This works out to an average of 3.7 yards per rush attempt. He was also able to amass a total of 22 TDs on his rushing attempts.
So you could say that Mannion has the better stats as a passer, arguably, but where there is no argument is when somebody asks who is the more explosive player in today’s NFL game. Mond wins by a landslide. I truly believe that he deserves to be QB2 for the Minnesota Vikings, and the new head coach Kevin O’Connell likes what he sees in Mond.
“Yeah, Kellen’s having a good spring so far, working incredibly hard, digesting the system,” O’Connell told media members on Wednesday. “He made a couple of checks yesterday at the line of scrimmage that he wasn’t prepared play-by-play for, like, ‘Hey, make sure on play 12 you’re ready to do this.’ He just kind of instinctively did that. Those are the little things you look for, obviously.”
“The praise for Minnesota Vikings second-year quarterback Kellen Mond continued to come in on Tuesday with offensive coordinator Wes Phillips being the recent coach talking up his improvements.
“Kellen is very sharp. He has really picked up the offense very well,” Phillips told media members. “I don’t know if you guys have seen him out here every day working with Jerrod Johnson—extra drill work, really working on his fundamentals.”
“He’s done a really nice job getting up to speed with our offense, our terminology. He’s calling the plays really well in the huddle, and his eyes are in the right place.”
There may still be debate about who should be QB2 for the Vikings this year, but to me, Kellen Mond is the obvious choice.
“Sean Mannion is in Minnesota largely because of his intellectual capabilities. He isn’t a great option on the field, though he understands the team’s overall goals and is a good support for the QB1.”
I think this quote, in particular, shows how Mannion is a better fit as a coach than a player, and the upside with Mond on the field is undeniable.