The Denver Broncos season didn’t turn out as we all expected or hoped, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t positive takeaways and silver-linings to talk about.
Truth be told, I felt it was proper to discuss the most valuable players for the Broncos on both sides of the ball in 2023. To start, I’ll focus on my top player offensively for Denver this season and my article discussing the team’s defensive MVP will drop tomorrow.
Most Valuable Player on Offense — Quinn Meinerz
One of the brighter spots for most of the season with respect to the Broncos was their overall offensive line play. Out of their five-starting lineman, I thought three of them had very good seasons. In fact, their free agent additions of Ben Powers and Mike McGlinchey were arguably the worst performers despite earning big-time contracts in free agency.
Without a doubt, third-year right guard and former third-round pick Quinn Meinerz was my offensive MVP for the Broncos in 2023. He was a brute force in the run game and had a highlight reel of pancakes knocking down defenders each and every week. According to Pro Football Focus, Meinerz was the top run-blocking guard in the National Football League this past season earning an astounding 88.8 grade.
Quinn Meinerz: 88.8 run-blocking grade this season— PFF DEN Broncos (@PFF_Broncos) January 11, 2024
1st among all guards pic.twitter.com/OvYnKUhkH0
In 1038 offensive snaps, he accrued just four penalties and allowed two sacks on the season and earned a 67.8 grade in pass protection. Overall, he was the third-best rated guard in the NFL behind Chris Lindstrom and Kevin Dotson. I felt he was deserving of a starting nod at guard in the for the Pro Bowl, but alas, he was only a third alternate. He even received several All-Pro votes this season but didn’t earn enough to make the mark as a first-team or second-team selection.
Even so, Meinerz is an ascending player whose best football is still ahead of them. While the Broncos are in a salary cap predicament for the 2024 season, I’d expect the Broncos to start the ball rolling with a possible extension. It’s unlikely that they will be able to keep Lloyd Cushenberry III this offseason due to that, but they have options to get out of the Powers and McGlinchey contracts before the start of the 2025 season. The Broncos can certainly make the numbers work down the road if they so choose.
With that in mind, it has been a very long time since the Broncos have successfully drafted and developed any players in the offensive trenches. The overall tide of the offensive line changed for the most part under new leadership and the coaching of Zach Strief. I’d love to see him continue to help Meinerz grow as a player. Letting him walk at the end of next season would be a mistake. He has done everything right in his early career and he deserves a lucrative extension and the honor of being an enforcer in the Broncos trenches for his entire career.