If Kevin Summon had his way Nick Starkel would be getting most of the snaps for Texas A&M and his prized freshman, Kellen Mond would be on the bench watching, developing at his own pace. Instead, Starkel broke his foot against UCLA in week one and Mond took an active part in the biggest comeback loss in A&M history.
After week one, Aggie fans were justifiably concerned with Mond's abilities at quarterback. Six weeks in and the young Aggie starter is making the strides necessary to be a big-time player.
Here's our usual disclaimer, we're suckers for radar graphs and all other demonstratives, we have excel, and we use it at times ineffectively, but whatever. We track quarterbacks through 8-10 criteria the most important of which (and we stole this from Bill Connelly over at Football Study Hall) are completion percentage, interception rate, sack rate, yards per attempt, and yards per play (taking into account passing, sack, and rushing yardage). We take those five indicators and every quarterback with 100 or attempts and give each quarterback a percentile rank amongst his peers. Is it flawless? Nope. Does it give us a pretty good indicator of how efficient a quarterback is? You bet. If you rank in the top 75 regarding percentile, you're really good, probably elite. If you rank in the top 50% that's a decent number. Below that and we've got some work to do. From a visual perspective, we'd like to see prominent, broad coverage. The wider the area graph, the more efficient a quarterback is at a number of efficiency measurables.
Here's Kellen Mond's radar graph, thru six games and Mond's radar graph minus the UCLA game. More on that later.
Mond is average to above all the way around if you take out the second half of the UCLA game. His completion percentage is nearly elite, his yards per attempt are at an elite level and in basically every other area, other than interception rate, he's in a very good spot.
In three of Mond's five starts, he's thrown for 60% or more. That includes starts against Arkansas and Alabama. In three of his starts, he's averaged eight or more yards an attempt. Plus he's run for 90 or more yards in two of his starts including a 109-yard outing against Arkansas.
Typically freshman will struggle in sack avoidance and interception rate. Mond's done surprisingly well at avoiding sacks, though he does struggle at throwing picks. His interception rate is in the 36th percentile.
The sack rate and the completion percentage indicate that the game is slowing down for him and he's getting comfortable with the throwing windows the college game allows him.
Next week will be a big test for Mond, the Aggies take another road trip, their first real road test since UCLA, as they travel to Gainesville to take on Florida. The Gators may be allergic to offense, but they can play defense. We'll see if Mond's development continues.