Quinn Meinerz Of UW Wisconsin could be the next man up to protect Aaron Rodgers. Coming into the 2021 NFL Draft one of the top needs for the Packers is offensive line. Two time first team All-Pro David Bakhtiari and Aaron Rodgers blind side protector unfortunately ended his season with a torn ACL. An injury that can sideline a player from 7-9 months. Along with the injury we saw All-Pro Corey Linsley sign with the Chargers in free agency. With the uncertainty of Bakh’s future and the loss of an All-Pro center offensive line is a top need. With the glaring need the Packers have been in contact with UW Whitewater offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz.
Quinn Meinerz is listed at 6’3″ 320. The likely NFL center hopeful could be only the 22nd player drafted from a Division III school since 1990, this April. His draft stock has rose as his talent was on display during the Senior Bowl. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic Meinerz 2020 season was canceled and that almost ended his dream of making it to the NFL.
The Call Of A Lifetime
Meinerz standout performance at the Senior Bowl almost didn’t happen if it weren’t for injuries to two other centers slated to start ahead of Meinerz. Landon Dickerson from Alabama and Josh Myers from Ohio State were slated to be the starters. With injuries in football it opens doors for the next man up. Dickerson suffered an ACL tear and Myers needed toe surgery. So it was in fact Meinerz time to shine. On January 14th Meinerz phone rang and on the other end was Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy. With that opportunity it gave Meinerz the shot he need to display his talent in front of all 32 NFL teams. Coming from a D III school that’s not always easy. It was a big break for the NFL center hopeful.
Rising Draft Stock
As Meinerz draft stock has risen, the Packers haven’t been the only team looking his direction. You can make the argument that offensive line is the most important position behind Quarterback. The obvious in state connection is a plus for the Packers, because the Wisconsin winters can be brutal. As the Packers are a team to play into the winter months, Meinerz could be a great asset, and someone to embrace the cold. You have to be pretty tough to play at Lambeau in December. So speaking from experience as a fan in the stands it’s definitely not for the weak.
A Great Second Day Fit
The Packers seem to have some good luck picking offensive lineman in the midpoint of the draft. David Bakhtiari and former Packers standout Josh Sitton were both selected in the 4th round. Corey Linsley was selected even later in the 5th round. As a likely second day caliber player, the hope would be he is still there for the Packers. With the addition to Meinerz, we could see him play center to replace Linsley. We could also see Elgton Jenkins take over the Center role as he so gracefully because Linsley missed some games during the 2020 season.
So as we enter the last two weeks before the draft it is to be seen where Meinerz will land. For the 2019 All American his dream of a shot at the NFL seems to becoming a reality. Although the talent level he played up against in D3 isn’t as tough as D1 Meinerz has still proven his worth. His intangibles are a big reason why even in a small D3 school many believe that Meinerz could make his impact felt sooner, rather than later. Let’s hope the Packers get lucky and Quinn Meinerz can be the new guy snapping the ball to Rodgers. Because after all the more time you give Rodgers the more dangerous he gets.
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