Denver Broncos Draft: Quinn Meinerz, Baron Browning great value picks

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Baron Browning - USA Today Images
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Baron Browning - USA Today Images /

Denver Broncos general manager George Paton decided to trade down in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft twice, acquiring an extra pick in the process. The Denver Broncos used both of their picks to great effect. Picking up offensive lineman “The gut” Quinn Meinerz and linebacker Baron Browning.

Entering day two of the NFL Draft, Paton still had plenty of work to do, with offensive line and linebacker being particular positions of need. They added running back Javonte Williams in the second round securing depth in the backfield.

In the third round, the decision to trade down twice provided them with an extra pick, which brought them Ohio State Buckeye Baron Browning.

The picks of Meinerz and Browning are great for Denver. Providing them with depth and two potential starters as these players develop.

Quinn Meinerz, OL, Wisconsin-Whitewater

Meinerz started the season as a sixth-round prospect and without a 2020 season. But he earned an invite to the Senior Bowl and where he really made an impression.

His background in wrestling has given him a great understanding of leverage and hand technique. But his physical strength is really where he excels and is his best athletic trait.

Using the 98th pick on the 6-foot-3, 320-pound offensive lineman represents great value. At the Senior Bowl, he showcased his powerful run blocking, pancaking some of the best prospects in the country.

Technique aside, his desire to succeed is something that could really increase the quality of this pick. Despite being one of the best linemen at the D-III level, he was overweight and was unable to play due to COVID-19 shutting down the season.

But he revamped his diet and worked on his conditioning to earn his invitation which acted as a springboard for his draft stock.

Looking at the roster fit, Meinerz can come in and compete with Lloyd Cushenberry III and provide depth at the center position. According to the Denver Broncos depth chart, Austin Schlottman provides cover for both the center and left guard position. So the addition of Meinerz will be a welcome one.

Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State

The big question around Baron Browning is why a player with as much physical talent as he does fell all the way to the end of the third round. But, the Broncos will be ecstatic that he did, using the 105th pick on him.

At Ohio State Browning played both off of the ball and as an edge rusher providing great versatility at the linebacker position. Considering the need at the linebacker position for Vic Fangio’s defense, expect Browning to line up as a middle linebacker.

His speed and athleticism had made him a menace to opposing offenses during his three years as a Buckeye. Though there are concerns over his inconsistency, there is a feeling that Browning could not have ended up in a better spot.

He possesses the desired blend of size, length, and strength, and if any coach in the NFL could maximize his potential then it is certainly going to be Fangio. Who can help work on his play recognition that slows him down sometimes?

Linebacker was a position that needed depth and Browning provides a player with real potential. Having competed against the best players in college, it is easy to be excited about the potential of Browning. If he can work on his play recognition he will be a high-level starter in the league for years to come.