Colts reportedly meeting with intriguing OL prospect could hint at draft plans
By Jerry Trotta
The Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback situation might be sorted out, but GM Chris Ballard still has a ton on his plate this offseason in terms of further rounding out the roster.
In a perfect world, and the Colts’ salary cap situation might allow him to do this, Ballard would bring in a star wide receiver, a proven pass rusher, a starting cornerback and a left tackle.
When it comes to the latter, Indianapolis faces a monster challenge of having to find a new blindside blocker after veteran Anthony Castonzo retired at the start of the offseason. While it remains to be seen what the team’s plans are with regards to replacing him, their latest pre-draft move confirms that Ballard is aware of the importance of addressing the void.
According to Justin Melo of the Draft Network, the Colts have recently met virtually with touted Division II prospect Quinn Meinerz, who played his college ball at Wisconsin-Whitewater and unfortunately had his senior season cancelled due to COVID-19.
With the 2021 NFL Draft looming the Colts met virtually with OL prospect Quinn Meinerz.
Meinerz became a household name among draft scouts during his stellar junior campaign in 2019, when he started 15 games and earned AP First-Team All-America honors. Then, he unsurprisingly continued to impress at this year’s Senior Bowl.
At 6-foot-3 and 320 pounds, to go with 33-inch arms, the young lineman projects to bring tremendous versatility to the professional level. Though most experts believe he’d offer more as a guard, he can also play center.
While Meinerz doesn’t project to be taken until at least Day 2 of the draft due to the competition he faced in college, scouts maintain the notion that he could start as a rookie on the interior offensive line.
The Colts don’t necessarily have a pressing need at those positions. However, if Quenton Nelson makes the switch to left tackle — and the coaching staff is apparently giving it some serious thought — a spot would open up at guard, and Indianapolis doesn’t currently have anybody lined up to swoop in seamlessly.
We honestly have zero idea what Ballard is thinking, but it’s worth noting that waiting until the second or middle rounds to draft a starting-caliber offensive lineman would give the Colts’ the requisite flexibility to spend their first-round selection (No. 21 overall) on another position of need, like cornerback or defensive end.
Again, meeting virtually with a prospect is normal pre-draft business, but the fact that Indy is evidently interested in Meinerz proves that this is something fans should keep an eye on as we inch closer to April.