Quinn Meinerz, aka “The Gut,” was drafted by the Broncos with pick 98.
The OL, as well as GM George Paton and head coach Vic Fangio, met with the press to discuss the decisions and what’s going forward.
Meinerz said the process of getting here has been amazing. Coming from Division III and having his senior season cancelled due to COVID-19, it was a late invite to the Senior Bowl that really put him on the NFL map.
“To be able to climb up the boards like I did doesn’t happen very often,” he said. “I’m just excited to get to into the offensive line room to start competing and help the Denver Broncos organization win football games.”
Last year was tough for the Wisconsin-Whitewater player, Meinerz said, adding it was a lot of hard work to stay ready despite not playing football.
“I was doing my own thing, learning center on my own and working my butt off every day,” he said, noting that the “little taste of football” in the Senior Bowl was awesome.
“To run through that tunnel again and practice was amazing,” he said, “I’m so excited to get back on the football field.”
George Paton said he thinks Meinerz moved up on the Draft board because of his Senior Bowl appearance. The game filled in a lot of information gaps on him as a player, since he didn’t have a 2020 season.
“When you see him in one-on-one drills blocking guys that are first-and second-round picks, it was pretty amazing,” Paton said. “We had to go back two years ago when he was 20 pounds heavier...it was hard to evaluate until we went to the Senior Bowl.”
The GM is confident that Meinerz will be a good fit for Denver’s offensive line, considering the OLB’s athleticism and love for the physicality of the game.
Meinerz might not be sure of which position Denver’s going to place him, but Fangio made it clear that he sees Meinerz as a multi-faceted player, and that he could envision him in both guard and center positions.
He stated that they don’t want too many one-positional players, adding, “We’ll cross-train him. We’ll start him off somewhere and let him get his feet wet—get grounded. But eventually, we need guys that can play center and guard.”
Fangio also said that as the offseason develops it’s easier to assess what the team needs, and if it needs for Meinerz to take on a second position, they’ll train him for it sooner than later.
From the looks of it, Meinerz is going to contribute significantly to Denver’s offensive line. Fangio has a positive outlook on the competition among their linemen in the 2021 season.
“I think competition brings the best out of everybody,” he said, noting their roster’s blend of young players and players in the middle of their career. “It will be a good competition, and nothing is better than that.”