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With the 2021 offseason featuring some abnormal conditions surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it can be expected that the Miami Dolphins, one of the two teams to coach players at the 2021 Senior Bowl, find themselves fond of several talents that they got to work with hand in hand for several days at the end of January. This year’s Senior Bowl will be the single biggest draft event of the cycle and Miami’s exposure to a full roster of talent will boost the confidence Miami has that they’re getting the right kinds of players for their program.
And now we have our first report of a Senior Bowl talent to catch the eye of the Dolphins’ team. No, we aren’t talking about receiver Devonta Smith or running back Najee Harris, either — but rather small-school interior offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz. The report, which comes from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, indicates that Meinerz grabbed the Dolphins’ attention during the week despite not playing any football in 2020.
“We hear the Dolphins really like Wisconsin Whitewater center/guard Quinn Meinerz, who played for the Dolphins coaching staff’s team in the Senior Bowl.” – Barry Jackson, Miami Herald
Of course they do. Remember, presumed co-offensive coordinator Eric Studesville is also an alumni of Wisconsin Whitewater — so there’s a natural tie in for Miami’s coaching staff. But Miami also likes big offensive lineman, which is another box that Meinerz checks. And, of course, this is a Dolphins program that is not afraid to take on players with more developmental projections than many other teams across the league. The Dolphins can operate with a certain level of comfort and stability thanks to their upward trajectory, the team success with outperforming expectations in two consecutive seasons and the commitment the team has from team owner Stephen Ross.
General managers and coaches on less stable teams from a job security perspective will be more prone to shy away from developing a Division III lineman, as they don’t have the time to see that kind of investment through if they don’t win games. The pressure lies in winning now.
For the Dolphins, they’ve proven they can do both. And so of course they would have a soft spot for Meinerz, who took extremely well to their coaching for a week in January. The question is how high the team will be willing to target him in April if they want to secure his services.