JAKE AND STACY

Heaps: To improve OL, Seahawks should draft Senior Bowl standout

Feb 13, 2021, 2:27 PM
Seahawks OL Quinn Meinerz...
D3 OL Quinn Meinerz was the star of the 2021 Senior Bowl and the Seahawks need OL help. (AP)
(AP)

The 2021 NFL Draft is just a few months away, and with the offseason officially here, it’s time to get familiar with players who could wind up with the Seahawks.

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Entering April’s draft, the Seahawks aren’t in a great spot when it comes to their draft picks. Seattle currently only has four selections, including none in the first or third rounds. The Seahawks traded their first- and third-round picks to the New York Jets for safety Jamal Adams. Additionally, they don’t have a sixth-round pick as Seattle traded back into the seventh round of last year’s draft for Stephen Sullivan, who is now with the Panthers.

Now, it’s very unlikely that the Seahawks ultimately pick only four players in this draft. John Schneider is the team’s general manager, after all, and after starting the 2019 NFL Draft with only four picks, the Seahawks ultimately made 11 selections. Seattle can trade players or future picks to accumulate more selections this year as well.

But it is unlikely that the Seahawks pick in the first round of the draft, so the earliest they will likely pick is where their current second rounder lies, which is 55th overall.

Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy has made it no secret he thinks the Seahawks need to bolster their offensive line, especially as star quarterback Russell Wilson has made it very clear he’s upset with how much he’s being hit. The Seahawks could have at two new starting offensive linemen next season as center Ethan Pocic and left guard Mike Iupati are unrestricted free agents.

Heaps has pinpointed an offensive lineman he thinks the Seahawks should target early in the draft. That player is Quinn Meinerz, who starred for the Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks. Wait, who?

“A D-3 prospect offensive guard/center,” Heaps said. “He is a player I am really, really excited about.”

If you haven’t heard of Meinerz before, that’s OK. You’re not the only one. But if you were following along with coverage of the recent Senior Bowl, which is a week of practice as well as a game that may draft-eligible seniors take part in.

Meinerz, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs roughly 320 pounds, was one of the most unknown players heading into the Senior Bowl, but he quickly became the week’s biggest hit.

Meinerz impressed not only analysts, but also scouts, Senior Bowl personnel like executive director Jim Nagy, and his fellow players. He was named the top offensive lineman for his team.

“You’re talking about a prospect no one knows about, goes to the Senior Bowl and absolutely dominates in the middle in the trenches and is pancaking guys and taking care of it in pass protection all while doing it with his practice jersey rolled up so his belly is hanging out, doing it with a little bit of swag and fun,” Heaps said.

Along with his dominant play, Meinerz was easy to spot with his jersey rolled up. Nagy, a former Seahawks scout, kept it simple when posting about Meinerz once the Senior Bowl week concluded.

The Senior Bowl is by invite only, and many top seniors from powerhouse schools partake in the week of practice as well as the actual game. Heaps thought it showed a lot about how good of a prospect Meinerz is that he was the talk of the Senior Bowl after starting the week as a largely unknown prospect.

“That’s a guy who’s stepping into the scene with all the top dogs around the country with a ton of confidence not caring where he came from, knowing he belongs and absolutely dominating,” Heaps said.

But was Meinerz’s Senior Bowl good enough that he’ll be off the board when the Seahawks pick at 55? Heaps does have some worries there as small school prospects have risen up draft boards after strong Senior Bowl appearances. But if Meinerz is available for the Seahawks to draft, Heaps thinks it’d be a great selection.

“I think he would be a great fit for the Seattle Seahawks,” Heaps said.

Listen to the discussion at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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