Vikes get potential Cousins successor in QB Mond

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have a possible succession plan for the post-Kirk Cousins period after drafting Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond within the third spherical of the NFL draft on Friday evening, however basic supervisor Rick Spielman made clear that Cousins’ job isn’t in query for 2021.

“Kirk’s our beginning quarterback,” Spielman stated. “There is no competitors there. It is simply taking one other participant. It is like, no matter place, if we take a participant within the third spherical or first spherical, I am not calling a participant and saying, ‘Hey, we might take this man right here.’ Our job is to get as many good gamers in right here and let all of them are available and compete.”

Mond, 21, was chosen with the 66th general choose and was the second of three quarterbacks taken inside a four-pick span. He is the primary quarterback ever taken by the Vikings within the third spherical and the best drafted since Teddy Bridgewater was chosen thirty second general in 2014.

Mond completed his profession at Texas A&M because the all-time profession chief in passing yards (9,661), passing touchdowns (71) and complete offense (11,269). His 93 touchdowns accountable for are tied with former Heisman winner Johnny Manziel for essentially the most at school historical past.

Cousins, 32, has been the Vikings’ beginning quarterback since 2018 and is below contract for the subsequent two seasons. His base salaries leap from $21 million in 2021 to $35 million in 2022, the latter of which comes with a $45 million cap hit.

Minnesota gave Cousins a two-year, $66 million extension months after he led the Vikings to a playoff win within the wild-card spherical in opposition to New Orleans in January 2020. That playoff win was the primary of Cousins’ profession.

Cousins’ former backup, Sean Mannion, has not re-signed with the Vikings since changing into a free agent final month, and it is doable Mond assumes that function in 2021. Spielman stated the timing of including one other quarterback with Cousins’ long-term future up within the air was based mostly on the crew’s skill to take one of many prime gamers out there after they have been on the clock early within the third spherical.

“It gave us a chance to get quarterback — a younger quarterback — to return in right here,” Spielman stated. “We needed so as to add competitors and depth behind Kirk, and Kellen goes to return in right here and compete with the opposite younger guys (Jake Browning and Nate Stanley) that we now have on the roster.”

Mond, who performed in two offensive methods in Faculty Station, first below Kevin Sumlin in an Air-Raid assault and later in Jimbo Fisher’s pro-style offense, stated he appears ahead to studying the right way to grasp an NFL playbook from his new veteran teammate.

“Clearly, I’ve by no means performed within the NFL so I believe moving into and having the ability to seize some data from a man who has performed with totally different groups and has performed in opposition to the most effective guys in the entire total world, I believe that is going to be large for me and only for him to sort of be a mentor and be taught from him, I believe it should be wonderful for me,” Mond stated. “That is going to be undoubtedly one of many greatest issues I search for too: one, studying the brand new playbook, but in addition simply having the ability to be taught from Kirk Cousins. It should be wonderful.”

The Vikings spent ample time with Mond in January on the Reese’s Senior Bowl, the place he was named MVP of recreation. The previous No. 1 dual-threat quarterback recruit within the county in 2017 possesses a unique skill-set than Cousins, one thing that piqued the Vikings’ curiosity in creating competitors.

“I do know with all our boot-action and play-action passes {that a} quarterback with some mobility that may transfer and make performs exterior the pocket is one thing we needed to have a look at, too,” Spielman stated. “He has just a little totally different skill-set than Kirk, however I do know simply speaking with our offensive coaches that we really feel that the mobility a part of issues might add some worth to him as a quarterback and to this method.”