Packers: Could Quinn Meinerz be the answer at center?
Dreams can come true for NCAA Division III players and Quinn Meinerz has the chance to be drafted by the Green Bay Packers. It would surely be something he will never forget.
Meinerz played at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater — with an enrollment just over 11,000 — which is small in comparison to the likes of Clemson, Alabama and LSU. Even UW-Madison (known as Wisconsin across the nation) is less than an hour away and four times the size.
Yes, he did play at a school with and against players who will never have the chance of stepping foot on an NFL field, at least with pads on for a practice or game. That doesn’t mean, however, that he doesn’t have the skillset to play alongside All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari or block the Bears’ six-time Pro Bowler Khalil Mack.
Meinerz measures 6-foot-3 and 320 pounds, with 33 3/8-inch arms and 10 1/8-inch hands. He ran a 4.92 40-yard dash and did 33 reps on the 225 bench press.
During his Pro Day, all 32 NFL teams were in attendance. That speaks volumes about his abilities. The Harford, Wisconsin native knows the rarity of Division III players being drafted into the NFL.
Just 11 Division III players were on NFL rosters or practice squads before the start of the 2020 season. The highest Division III player ever drafted was Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Ali Marpet who was taken second round and 61st overall in 2015.
You’ve likely never seen him play, but you might have seen his interesting workout videos. They are unique, with him curling jugs of water or doing squats in the middle of the woods. It isn’t all for show though, as he continually found a way to prepare and show NFL scouts he has what it takes to perform at a championship level this offseason.
Green Bay does need a center after losing Corey Linsley in free agency. They do have Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins and Lucas Patrick, along with sixth-round pick from last year Jake Hanson who will compete to be in front of Aaron Rodgers at center. One thing is widely known and that is the Packers like versatile offensive linemen. Last season Jenkins started left guard, center, right guard and right tackle, while Patrick started at both guard positions.
Meinerz has the athleticism to play both guard positions and center, which improves the likelihood of him starting in the NFL for years. This year the rave has been about RAS (Relative Athletic Score) for each draft pick and Meinerz scored a 9.98. Yes, you read that correctly, a 9.98 out of a possible 10.
Now that the first round has come and gone, it is only a matter of time before Meinerz will receive the much-anticipated phone call from an NFL general manager. Will it be the Packers in the second or third rounds on Friday night?