Broncos OG Quinn Meinerz Poised to Join NFL's Elite as Price Tag Climbs

Can Quinn Meinerz build on the momentum he established last year?
May 23, 2024; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos guard Quinn Meinerz (77) during organized team activities at Centura Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2024; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos guard Quinn Meinerz (77) during organized team activities at Centura Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

There were questions about where the Denver Broncos would play Quinn Meienrz when they drafted him, but he has settled down at guard. Over the past two seasons, Meinerz has played exclusively at right guard, has become one of the better players at his position in the NFL, and is on the cusp of being one of the best.

And when you look exclusively at run blocking, Meinerz already is one of the best.

As a rookie in 2021, Meinerz played both left and right guard, though mainly on the right side, and even worked as a sixth blocker. His promise as a run blocker was on display early, but he struggled in pass protection.

With 623 snaps played, Meinerz allowed 15 pressures and three sacks. This was a good showing considering he was jumping to the NFL from a small school in Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

Meinerz's second season started with a setback as he got injured in the first game and was placed on injured reserve. However, he bounced back, returning for Week 6 and reclaiming his starting position for the rest of the season.

What happens next on the Broncos? Don't miss out on any news and analysis! Take a second, sign up for our free newsletter, and get breaking Broncos news delivered to your inbox daily!

The 2022 season was a testament to Meinerz's growth and potential as a run blocker. While he also showed improvement in his pass blocking, there was still room for further development, hinting at the exciting possibilities for his future. 

With 129 more snaps played than his rookie season, Meinerz still allowed three sacks and16 pressures. His worst game of the season came against the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he was a liability in pass protection. Fortunately for the Broncos, Meinerz was more consistent for the rest of the season and seemed poised for a massive step with his development in 2023. 

There were 38 guards who played at least 1,000 snaps on offense last season, per Pro Football Focus. Meinerz had the eighth-fewest pressures allowed and ranked sixth in his efficiency. That's a good place to be, given how many talented guards there are in the NFL. However, there were still areas Meinerz needs to improve in order to be one of the best guards in the league. 

Meinerz struggled in the first three weeks of the 2023 season, the second game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Houston Texans. While there are moments of excellence, consistency issues still need to be solved, which are holding him back.

With 2024 being Meinerz's first year with the same coaches, he isn’t having to learn a new offense. That puts him in an excellent position to focus on being more consistent with his technique in pass protection instead of learning all of the terminology. 

Zach Strief is still the Broncos offensive line coach after Meinerz dealt with three position coaches in his first two seasons. It's good to see that Meinerz wasn’t ruined by the constant coaching changes and continued to grow and develop as a player. His run blocking is already among the best in the NFL, and Sean Payton showed trust in Meinerz to get his job done early and often in the 2023 season. 

Bottom Line

It all comes back to pass protection for Meinerz. If he can be more consistent and improve there, he will easily be one of the best guards in the NFL.

Achieving that in 2024 would be the best timing for Meinerz, who has consistently improved each season, as he's in the final year of his contract. With those improvements, he can easily push to be the highest-paid guard in the NFL, where the top player is currently making $21 million per year. 

Follow Mile High Huddle on X and Facebook and subscribe on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!


Published
Erick Trickel

ERICK TRICKEL

Erick Trickel is the Senior Draft Analyst for Mile High Huddle, has covered the Denver Broncos, NFL, and NFL Draft for the site since 2014.