From Sean Payton to Russell Wilson’s benching, the Broncos are a mess lately; but Quinn Meinerz is a bright spot.

How can a lineman be a bright spot when so many Broncos fans believe the line has underperformed?

Because Meinerz has played some of the best football of any guard in the NFL this year.

Meinerz continues to earn great grades from Pro Football Focus

According to Pro Football Focus, who grades all players in all games, Quinn Meinerz is the third-best guard in the National Football League this season.

His 83.4 overall grade is third behind Chris Lindstrom (89.5) of Atlanta and Kevin Dotson (84.8) of the LA Rams. On top of that, he’s got the second-best pass-blocking grade of the year, too:

According to their records, he’s only given up two sacks on the year. That’s of the 45 sacks Wilson took in 15 games. And in terms of pressures, he’s allowed them on a mere 4.1 percent of snaps this year:

When it comes to run-blocking, he’s an absolute beast. He moves well for a guy his size, even on pulls. And once he gets his hands on opponents, it’s over for them; Menierz throws them to the ground.

No doubt about it, he’s a gritty, physical lineman. He’s so physical, he was actually fined for this hit against the New England Patriots:

Meinerz has gone from fan favorite to legitimate stud lineman

Rewind to 2021 and he was picked by the Denver Broncos in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft.

Considering he went to D-III Wisconsin-Whitewater, the fact that he’s made it this far in the NFL is extraordinary.

Meinerz was immediately considered a fan favorite because he embraced his nickname “The Gut” and had a viral video of pushing down trees with his hands. In fact, this profile video made by the Denver Broncos is fantastic and talks all about his upbringing in Wisconsin.

And he wasn’t just a viral video sensation, but he’s turned into a legitimate cornerstone of the Broncos offensive line.

As a rookie, he struggled a bit, earning a 67.4 overall grade from PFF. In his second year, he certainly improved, grading out at a 77.7 overall. And that upward trend continued into this season, where he’s currently an 83.4 overall.

Unfortunately, while three Broncos were named to the Pro Bowl this week, Meinerz was snubbed. He will, at least, be a Pro Bowl alternate.

Looking forward, Meinerz is definitely a player the Broncos should build their offensive line around. He and center Lloyd Cushenberry have definitely continued to grow over time, and the young interior of the line is playing strong.

The third-year guard enters the final year of his rookie deal in 2024, meaning he’s about to get paid next offseason. Hopefully that’s by Denver and he’s locked up for years to come.