Much to the delight of Minnesota Vikings fans everywhere, general manager Rick Spielman spent a Day 2 pick on the succession plan at the quarterback position. With the second pick in the third round (66th overall), the Vikings took Kellen Mond, the former Texas A&M quarterback and No. 1-ranked dual-threat quarterback from the 2017 high school class (per Rivals). He finds himself in the driver’s seat as the future face of the franchise.
Throughout the draft process, the player that Mond has most commonly been compared to is none other than former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick.
With Minnesota’s current backup quarterback situation comprised of Mond, 2020 seventh-round pick Nate Stanley, and former practice squad member Jake Browning, it’s high time Spielman get the civil rights activist and former Super Bowl XLVII-starting quarterback back in an NFL camp competing for a roster spot.
Not only would Kaepernick be able to come in and provide a veteran presence in Minnesota’s quarterback room as someone who has made it to the NFL mountaintop, but he would play a direct role in Mond’s development in the rookie’s first NFL training camp. Considering that Mond has a far more similar skillset to Kaepernick than starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, both parties would benefit from bringing in Kaepernick into camp.
Should Kaepernick come in and earn a roster spot, having a veteran like him would provide peace of mind should Cousins be forced to miss time with an injury. Let’s not forget, the biggest fears of the Kansas City Chiefs came to fruition during the AFC Divisional round when Patrick Mahomes was knocked out of the game midway through the third quarter with a concussion. But 35-year-old veteran backup quarterback Chad Henne — who has never been on the same level as Kaepernick — came in, weathered the storm, and helped Kansas City hold off the Cleveland Browns to advance to the AFC Championship game.
And before we get started on the polarization that accompanies Kaepernick, let’s have a quick history lesson on how this franchise has approached the quarterback position over the past couple of decades. Not too long ago, if you were to ask the Rush Limbaughs of the world, having a Black quarterback came with certain skepticism. However, the Vikings have never been a franchise that tolerated that sort of narrative. Starting in 1994 with Warren Moon — who was forced to spend the first six years of his professional career in Canada due to erroneous Black quarterback stereotypes — Minnesota went 24-straight years with a prominent Black quarterback on their roster. Those quarterbacks were:
Being that Kaepernick has essentially been blackballed by the NFL since sacrificing his playing career to stand up for his beliefs regarding police brutality towards men and women of color, what better place than Minneapolis for Kaepernick to make his return to the league? Considering what this community has gone through over the past year regarding the murder of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and the killing of Daunte Wright by former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, this community would welcome Kaepernick with open arms.
And for those who still have a problem with Kaepernick taking a knee as a peaceful protest during the national anthem, well, those same people might just be part of the problem.
This country still has a long way to go in providing liberty and justice for all, especially as it pertains to the policing of Black men and women. But after April 20th’s guilty verdict of Chauvin, Minneapolis can continue to provide additional momentum for the necessary changes in this country by bringing in the quarterback who made white America uncomfortably face the stark reality of police brutality towards Black people.
Bringing Kaepernick in to bolster the quarterback room and help with Mond’s development would pay dividends on the gridiron. But more importantly, bringing Kaepernick in to join the Minnesota Vikings is simply the right thing to do for a community very much in healing.