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Broncos Roster Review: Rookie center Quinn Meinerz

The small school prospect has quickly become a fan favorite among Broncos fans.

NFL: Denver Broncos Rookie Minicamp Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Quinn Meinerz
Position: Center
Height: 6'3" Weight: 320
Age: 22 Experience: R
College: Wisconsin-Whitewater

In the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected small school interior offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz from Wisconsin-Whitewater. He’s a 6’3”, 320lb lineman who was considered one of the top centers entering the 2021 NFL Draft. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranked Meinerz’s as his second-best center in the draft and had a second-round grade on him. If Brugler’s projection proves to be true, the Broncos got themselves a steal here in Meinerz who loves to let the belly breathe.

Quinn Meinerz played a total of three seasons at Wisconsin Whitewater. His senior season was canceled because of the Covid-19 virus so he did not play a single snap in 2020. However, he was invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl and he accepted the invite. Meinerz spoke about the obstacles he faced during that process.

“ A lot of people don’t see what I have been doing for so long,” Meinerz said “Thirteen, fourteen months having all these things counting against me, being a division 3 football player, not having a football season, we had quarantine, and COVID was really affecting my ability to meet with scouts. I was able to handle all this adversity, and everything came together for that week.”

Everything changed for Meinerz after his dominant performance during Senior Bowl week.

Meinerz stonewalled the best defensive line talent all week during the Senior Bowl and this turned the potential late day 3 talent into a third-round selection by the Broncos. Denver Broncos General Manager George Paton discussed why Meinerz raised up their draft board because of his Senior Bowl performance.

“Quite a bit, I think he raised up everyone’s draft board because there were a lot of unknowns about him. When you see him in one-on-one drills blocking guys that are first-and second-round picks, it was pretty amazing. You don’t see that very often. The more you dig into the person, the player, Whitewater, and where he came from, I think that he rose on everyone’s draft boards.”

By the sounds of it, the Broncos got themselves an impressive person and player.

Accolades (via uwwsports.com)

  • Associated Press first-team All-America
  • American Football Coaches Association first-team All-America
  • D3football.com second-team All-America
  • D3football.com first-team All-West Region
  • First-team All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
  • One of four team captains
  • Winner of the team’s Glen Wills Offensive Lineman Award and the Most Valuable Player award
  • WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll
  • D3football.com second-team Preseason All-America
  • Lindy’s second team Preseason All-America
  • Participated in the Reese’s Senior Bowl

Quinn Meinerz

Interior Offensive Lineman, Senior, Wisconsin Whitewater

Height: 6’3” | Weight: 320lbs | 40-time: 4.99 seconds | 10-yard split: 1.73 seconds

Arm Length: 33 3/8” | Hands: 10 1/8”

Vertical Jump: 32 inches | Broad Jump: 9’ 3” | Short Shuttle: 4.58 seconds

3-Cone Drill: 7.54 seconds

NFL: Denver Broncos OTA Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

There’s a lot to like about Quinn Meinerz. The small school prospect made a giant leap up the draft boards going from a late day 3 to potentially being undrafted to going in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He did this mainly by dominating the Senior Bowl talent. This performance raised plenty of eyebrows and helped him raise his stock despite coming off a missed season.

He’s an athletic offensive lineman who is aggressive as they come and flashes his strength and ability throughout his film. He is far from a finished product, however, landing in Denver and learning from Hall Of Fame offensive line coach Mike Munchak should allow Meinerz to reach his full potential.

Another thing to like is his ability to potentially contribute right away. While he’ll face a giant leap in competition, 2020 rookie center Lloyd Cushenberry is far from a lock to start and clearly, the Broncos want competition there since they selected Meinerz. So, there is a decent chance that he could win the starting center job during Training Camp/Preseason or sometime during the season. Having veteran guards Dalton Risner and Graham Glasgow beside him should also help his development some as well.

Also, he offers some versatility as well. He played left guard in college but figures to at least start out at the center position in the NFL. It’s possible that he starts out his NFL career as a backup to the center and guard positions. Versatility is good and it’s something Meinerz should have early on in his career.

The Bad

His inexperience against top talent is the big one here. He was playing against non-NFL talent at Wisconsin-Whitewater and while he dominated the Senior Bowl, this defensive line class was not a good one according to draft analysts, so it’s unclear how good his performance actually was.

Overall his game needs refinement that could potentially keep him from getting on the field early on his rookie year. Also, he can be a bit overaggressive at times and will need to clean that up some as he develops with the Broncos.

Finally. the Broncos did also spend a third-round selection on Lloyd Cushenberry in 2020 and there’s a chance he could make a leap during his second season which could keep Meinerz off the field. The competition between the two should be a good one.

Final Thoughts

I’m excited about Quinn Meinerz’s future with the Broncos. For me, it’s not a matter of if, but when, will he take over as the starting center. I think he has the potential to be a very good one too, especially with Mike Munchak coaching him up.

I’m not sure he’ll start the season as the starter at center, but I think it’s possible and he’ll likely get playing time during the season as well. Either way, expect to see a lot of Quinn Meinerz moving forward.