With the limited all-star game circuit completed, draft season is officially in full swing. This upcoming draft process will be unlike anything we have ever seen before, which puts thorough evaluations and analyses at all-time importance. This Q&A should invoke debate, draft discussion and give insight on the top prospects in the draft ahead.
Question 1: What are your thoughts about D3 center prospect Quinn Meinerz who performed in the recent Reese’s Senior Bowl?
Answer: Though Meinerz started picking up steam in draft circles before his Senior Bowl appearance, he certainly opened many evaluators eyes in a variety of ways during the week itself. To start, he thoroughly passed the eye test and had exceptional measurement numbers. Measuring at 6-foot-3 and 320 pounds with 33-inch arms, he showcased a prototypical build for an NFL interior offensive lineman.
Regarding his on-field performance, it is always intriguing to insert a small school prospect in these highly competitive all-star game environments, especially someone from a Division III level against Power 5 talents. With that being said, it is arguable that Meinerz had the best week among all of his counterparts. It is a lofty preposition with the sheer amount of talent that surrounded him, however I feel as if his on field dominance and off field exhibitions boosted his stock an astronomical amount.
Throughout the week, he showcased impressive lower body strength and explosiveness. His base proved stout against even the most talented of opponents, and his lower half worked in unison with his hand usage. In pass protection, and in the run game Meinerz was always first to get inside hands and gain control of the opponent. His punches also showed nuance, as his hand and stabs exhibited independent hand usage which is integral to success in pass protection.
Watching Quinn Meinerz put defenders in the dirt at Senior Bowl practice never gets old. Violent punch, strong base + balance, and aggressive finish. pic.twitter.com/ofGYBZe2Pk
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) January 31, 2021
Watch how in his quick set he stabs that outside hand right away to initiate control. It is well placed, and it negates rush momentum. It also catalyzes his ability to flip his hips and square up the defender. With that hand fitted, his hips aligned, and his feet underneath him, he then explodes off of his insteps driving the defender into the dirt exhibiting a nasty finish. His opponent there, is Patrick Jones who has been a draft pundit darling for a long time now. Here is another example of Meinerz excelling in 1-on-1 pass protection, arguably showing more nuance here than in the rep above.
OL DL 1v1 is my favorite practice drill, grown men going at it 💪🏼 @DraftTap @BearsBarroom
Quinn Meinerz v Osa Odighizuwa pic.twitter.com/AQBUhiAIL0
— Niel Stopczynski (@nielstopczynski) January 30, 2021
This rep is phenomenal. Initially, he does not win inside hands. His hands are high, way outside, and Osa Odighizuwa has maintained legitimate control forcing Meinerz into a bad position. However, watch how he progressively wins control back and negates the rush. His anchor was exceptional here, as he drops his weight while driving his feet into the grass on his insteps. The word “insteps” sounds menial and insignificant, however driving into the ground with that part of your foot unlocks the most power and strength possible from your lower half. It helps you regain balance, which you do not have being on your toes or heels. His lower body is stout, and these two reps exhibit that. To enable his anchor to perform at its most effective, you have to win back hand placement. His hands start high, but throughout the rep he aggressively refits his hands in order to lock onto Odighizuwa’s chest and regain control.
Being able to refit your hands and recover after starting in a compromising position is a crucial ability that is needed in the NFL. I did just show two pass protection reps, however he is exceptional in the run game as well. I framed it this way in order to show you all together that Meinerz possesses the necessary size, length, power, technique and demeanor to play for a long time in the league. A lot of core nuances explained above apply to the run game, and all other aspects of the position. He does have a large amount of room to grow, as he can keep getting stronger and he can also afford to keep attacking his footwork and the way in which he quick sets. The rhythm of his operation can afford to smoothen.
Meinerz opened many eyes and impressed almost all viewers of his performance. Not only did he impress on the field, he impressed off the field as he fought to play in the game with Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores even with a broken hand. He is a competitor, and at 320 pounds, he can also dunk a basketball. He will be a third or fourth round draft choice come April.
Quinn Meinerz is a freak of nature athlete you can only find in D3.
— Billy (@Billyhottakes) February 2, 2021
Question 2: What would be your ideal draft haul from days 1-2 for the Bills? Three prospects!
Round 1, Pick 30: Wyatt Davis (OG, Ohio State)
Analysis: I understand this may not be a glamorous pick, however Davis would be an exceptional upgrade for the Buffalo Bills at guard. Davis is an experienced interior player with exceptional lateral movement skills, advanced technique, and blue chip functional strength. He can execute zone schemes with great success, yet he can also pull and reach any sort of landmark that he is asked to. Davis makes the Buffalo Bills better.
One hell of a rep by Ohio State G Wyatt Davis. Just simply overpowering the DT and driving him into the turf to clear this lane. pic.twitter.com/L5PmvvgHhX
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 20, 2021
Round 2, Pick 62: Dylan Moses (LB, Alabama)
Analysis: This pick comes with some risk, as Moses has some durability concerns and we have not seen him fully healthy in a considerable amount of time. The upside and fit here is tremendous. Standout Bills LB Matt Milano is going to command top dollar in the coming free agency period, and the Bills will have a hard time affording him. Moses, is a freakish athlete with an impressive build and range. He is explosive laterally, he is a violent tackler and at his best he does well in different coverage responsibilities. Milano’s importance to the Bills defense revolves around his instincts, and range. With time, if Moses is developed well and stays durable, he can fulfill those voids to a high level. His health has given him inconsistencies on tape, but his traits and ability as a run defender is just worth betting on. These coming months will expose more realism on where Moses will end up, as his health checks and evaluation on the field will be critical.
Excited to see Dylan Moses healthy!
But even more so for DL LaBryan Ray. Only played 476 snaps in 3 seasons at Alabama. Injuries in ‘17 & ‘19
Former 5-Star, #1 player in Alabama – tons of potential/upside. Can play a variety of positions on DL
Ray #18 3tech vs LG – nice rep pic.twitter.com/lLj5WiipK2
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) September 30, 2020
Round 3, Pick 93: Kenneth Gainwell (RB, Memphis)
Analysis: No this is not Najee Harris. The Bills by design, are an offense that is primarily pass oriented. They have exceptional talent on the perimeter, and they are led by an incredibly talented young QB in Josh Allen. They have two running backs in Zach Moss and Devin Singletary, who are more than capable of maximizing their carries if asked too.
Gainwell is not a standard running back, as he is a Swiss Army Knife with explosiveness and versatility. He has exceptional contact balance, he is elusive and he has an impressive second gear. Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll could move him around wherever he pleases, and he can execute concepts such as jet sweeps, screens, and the standard running schemes that the Buffalo Bills employ. Daboll gets a multifaceted weapon here.
Turned on Memphis to see what all the hype was about with Kenneth Gainwell and I am immediately rewarded. My goodness pic.twitter.com/Pxv9tTNvM9
— Tyler Forness (@TheRealForno) May 27, 2020
Subsequent pages below!