That was the legendary start to Quinn Meinerz’s career in the NFL. Selected in the third round, 98th overall, Meinerz was projected to be a developmental type prospect out of a small school that could start sooner rather than later.
#77 Quinn Meinerz
Age: 23. 6’03”, 320 lbs.
And start he did, with some of the best clips coming from Denver’s unlikely route of the Dallas Cowboys last November.
How he fits with the Broncos
He stepped in early and played very well, earning an overall 67.4 grade from Pro Football Focus giving up just three sacks on 623 offensive snaps as a rookie.
With the new coaching staff coming in and Meinerz having reviewed his rookie season, he put an emphasis on trimming down a bit to help gain both speed and endurance.
“Last year, I was floating a couple of pounds under 330,” Meinerz explained in May. “I kind of had a sense that this offense was going to be predicated on speed and I wasn’t happy with some of the positions I was in last year with some of the things that I was doing wrong. I took it upon myself to lose some weight, I’d say around 10 pounds. I’m trying to stay around 320 or a couple of pounds under. That’s where I’m feeling the best right now.”
A lot of this likely has to do with Russell Wilson being under center. It’s no longer going to be about timing routes, but potentially extending plays and letting Wilson do the things he has done his entire career.
“In the offensive line room, it’s, ‘We have to block until the ball’s gone.’ There isn’t like, ‘Alright, we’re blocking for three seconds.’ We have to block until the ball is gone, and whatever that requires and whatever you have to do is what we have to do. Especially with some of the special abilities that ‘Russ’ has to evade the pocket and move things, there’s no other option. You have to keep blocking until the ball is gone. That’s the overall mentality there.”
The mentality is all about giving Russ the time to make the big play. This offensive line group is looking like its molding into a very tight-knight unified group. That is going to be fun to watch.
I consider Meinerz a lock for the roster obviously, but Denver has a lot of bodies inside. A lot of players with starter experience. I personally consider Meinerz a starter-level player, but he isn’t quite have the veteran level status of a Dalton Risner or Graham Glasgow. The problem is, I think the offensive line will be better with Meinerz in there somewhere. We’ll have to leave it up to the coaching staff to figure out how this alignment is going to look.
Where do you think Quinn Meinerz will end up playing? Will he be a starter and, if so, where along the offensive line is he starting and who would he replace? Let’s discuss in the comments below.