Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule gave high praise to Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond.
The MVP of the Senior Bowl was coached by Rhule and his staff this week and left a strong impression by throwing for 173 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s college All-Star finale.
“We’re talking about a really, really football smart guy here,” Rhule said after the game. “You give him a play and he knows it. He kind of got into a rhythm there in the third quarter, just ripping some seam balls, making some plays. I think he’s got a bright future.”
Mond finished an outstanding 2020 season, leading the 4th-ranked Aggies to a 9-1 record with a 41-27 Orange Bowl victory over No. 13 North Carolina. The San Antonio, Texas native threw for 2,282 yards with 19 touchdowns and three interceptions.
The Panthers (5-11) are one of the teams in the market to add depth at the quarterback position. Teddy Bridgewater’s future with the team is in doubt after last season, along with changes in the front office with Scott Fitterer stepping in as the new general manager earlier this month.
According to CBS Sports and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Carolina was one of several teams to “aggressively” pursue Matthew Stafford before he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night. The Rams gave up two future first round picks, a third round pick and Jared Goff in exchange for the former top overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft from the Detroit Lions.
Another option on the table for the Panthers is going after Deshaun Watson. The former Clemson star recently asked for a trade after the Houston Texans, who finished the 2020 season with a 4-12 record. Although, the asking price for Watson to leave Houston is hefty, according to reports from Yahoo Sports. And with Stafford being dealt to LA for a near king’s ransom, it’s likely the Texans will be asking for something similar from teams who are interested in Watson.
Carolina has the 8th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. The team’s second pick in the top ten in five years after taking Christian McCaffrey at No. 8 in 2017.