The Senior Bowl is one final chance for not only the top players to showcase their talents, but also for unknown diamonds in the rough to be discovered. The latter was certainly the case for Quinn Meinerz.
The offensive lineman played his collegiate career at a small Division-III school, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. However, with his showing at this past week’s Senior Bowl, you’d think he played at one of the more premier programs in the country. Here’s what Vikings fans need to know about Meinerz.
Prototypical Guard Build
Meinerz is exactly what NFL teams want out of an inside lineman. His 6’3”, 320-pound frame fits perfectly at a guard spot. Throughout his collegiate career, he seemed to excel at left guard, but he is certainly capable of playing either side and even some center. That versatility is exactly what a team like the Vikings will be looking for out of a mid-round pick to put time in the trenches.
Not Uber-Athletic, but Extremely Efficient
The Hartford, Wisconsin, native certainly isn’t the fastest moving guy on the field. I mean, just take a look at him.
However, Meinerz’s technique helps him compete with the best opposing defenders. One key component to that is his background. Meinerz was a wrestler throughout high school, and it shows in his blocking. He creates terrific leverage and knows how to use his hands to his advantage more than most linemen at his age. Imagine this man pulling off blocks like these for Dalvin Cook and Kirk Cousins. The clips also show off his versatility across the offensive line.
Down to Earth and Extremely Tough
Another advantage Meinerz has over other guys going into the draft, especially those from small schools, is that he was born to play guard. He has always played within himself and to his strengths. He won’t have to make a position switch like so many others who played tackle throughout college and now have to transition to guard.
Not only that, but his toughness will be an asset as he advances to the NFL. Here are some clips of offseason workouts putting his strength and toughness on display.
How can you not root for a guy who spends his summer in the woods lifting logs?
The mental toughness was put on the national stage last week, too. He broke his hand during a practice, but he still suited up and pleaded to play in Saturday’s game. He was officially listed as out and didn’t see any action, but the fact that he was ready to go shows the level of commitment to his craft.
Concerns will surround Meinerz about his level of competition in college. That said, some of those fears should be quelled after his week of dominating Power Five competition and four-and-five star athletes. His versatility is something that should be attractive to many NFL franchises while his skill and mindset has caused his draft stock to soar over the past couple weeks. He is definitely a player for the Vikings to keep in mind as the draft gets closer.