The Las Vegas Raiders have a pressing need at right tackle. However, they also need to find a long-term answer at the guard position. That’s why Wisconsin-Whitewater interior offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz is a prospect worth considering on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Ed Graney of Las Vegas Review-Journal recently highlighted Raiders general manager Mike Mayock’s affinity for “jokers” and “big butts”, and believes Meinerz could fit the team’s vision. He notes the Division III product can line up at different spots within the interior offensive line. Also, he thinks he would be an adequate replacement for Rodney Hudson.
Before the Reese’s Senior Bowl, Meinerz was viewed as a late-round prospect. Nevertheless, he made the most out of his chance and stood out. The defensive linemen group at practice voted the Wisconsin native the top offensive lineman on the National Team. Also, he caught everyone’s attention because of his fashion choices. However, the event only helped him get the spotlight, as he showed in college he could play at a high level.
Even though Meinerz didn’t face top competition in college, he displayed in Senior Bowl week he has all the attributes to thrive in the NFL. He needs to polish his technique a bit but has outstanding athleticism and is a relentless competitor. Although he didn’t play in 2020, he displayed the discipline to self-train and showed significant improvement.
Why does Quinn Meinerz make sense for the Raiders?
Creed Humprey is the top center in the draft. He could be a first-round selection or an early-round pick. He could be a solid choice for the Raiders, but they will likely address other needs with the 17th overall pick, so by the time they are on the clock in the second round, he will be gone. If they still want to take a guard/center in the second round, Meinerz would make sense.
The Raiders could wait until the third round, but he could be off the board by then. Expecting to land him in the third round may not be feasible. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Meinerz get drafted before Ohio State center Josh Myers or Alabama guard Landon Dickerson.
The Raiders’ offensive line is currently in a state of influx. Regardless of the priority they give the unit in the draft, they must add a few pieces and Meinerz could end up becoming a sleeper pick in the second round.
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Top Photo: Michael McLoone via UW-Whitewater Athletics