New England Patriots

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With David Andrews a pending free agent, and no obvious replacement behind him, center looks to be one of the Patriots biggest needs heading into free agency and the draft. Even if Andrews re-signs, finding a quality backup helps prepare the team for the future, and would prevent a scramble situation in case of injury, like we saw last season.

On Tuesday, Patriots scouts were spotted at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Pro Day according to a tweet from Owen Riese. The workout at the Division-III powerhouse featured a single draft prospect – center Quinn Meinerz.

Meinerz was a three year starter at UWW before the 2020 D-III season was canceled due to COVID-19. Still, he got an invite to this year’s Senior Bowl where he garnered national attention for his compete level. Scouts were impressed with how he held up against D-I talent, after having not played competitively in over a  year.

While his skillset is still extremely raw, he’s not afraid to get physical and play downhill. At 6-foot-3, 320 pounds, he has the size to play center or guard at the next level, which will help with his development.

The Patriots have a tendency to draft physically-gifted, less technically sound linemen they feel they can coach up and mold (see: Michael Onwenu), which puts Meinerz right in their wheelhouse. He’s currently projected as a late Day 2 or early Day 3 pick.

Meinerz wasn’t the only offensive lineman the Patriots staff got an in-person look at on Tuesday. The team also had offensive line coaches at Northwestern to watch projected first-round pick Rashawn Slater.

MORE: Barth’s Patriots Mock Draft 1.0

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.