With the 159th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers selected Brenden Jaimes, offensive tackle from Nebraska. Jaimes (pronounced HIGH-mus), played all four years in college, making 40 consecutive starts for the Cornhuskers. Though he was drafted in the 5th round, Jaimes is a talented tackle that could be a real asset.
Jaimes slipped under the radar for many teams, boasting versatility and durability. Even though he was drafted on day three, considered to be when many teams find depth players, can Jaimes prove he was worth more than that? Can he prove that he was really a diamond in the rough? What are his strengths and weaknesses? This is the Brenden Jaimes rookie profile.
- Highly durable. Jaimes initially was a redshirt freshman at Nebraska, but ended up starting 9 games as a true freshman. After that, he did not miss a single start through the next 3 years, racking up to 40 total starts. This durability can give teams a sense of reliability from such an important position as offensive tackle.
- Great lineman instincts. Linemen, especially tackles, need to have a knack for positioning and angles. Jaimes has shown that he has great understanding of these things. These skills are crucial for stopping edge rushers, particularly fast ones. Jaimes’s ability to get into the minds of his opponents is impressive.
- Skilled with hands. This is another coveted skill for linemen. Proper hand placement is ideal for locking up defenders and limiting their movement, and Jaimes has nigh-mastered this skill. Being able to maintain that leverage should make his transition to the NFL far easier.
- Below-average length. Jaimes’s arm length is not ideal for the NFL level. With a lack of length, the point of contact between defenders and himself is delayed, which gives edge rushers a major advantage. However, Jaimes seemed to remedy this issue using his instincts to readjust.
- Prone to overextend. When dropping back, Jaimes tends to bend forward at the waist, with his nose past his feet. This is an issue that he must correct as soon as possible. If left unchecked, Jaimes can be prone to losing balance from leaning too far forward, and a lack of balance can be easily exploited.
- Subpar footwork on edge. Jaimes needs to develop a more solid technique for setting his outside anchor. If not, then it becomes easier for defenders to bull rush him. With how speedy and strong edge rushers have gotten in the NFL, Jaimes would be dominated whenever he steps on the field if left unchecked.
General Manager Tom Telesco made a solid pick in round 5. Jaimes has the talent and skills to be a solid rotational piece. However, he has the potential to be more. As it stands, Jaimes is set to be the backup guard on either side. Moving him to guard is a smart decision by Staley, as it mitigates his edge footwork issue mentioned earlier. However, Jaimes has the potential to become a starter. If current starters Matt Feiler and Oday Aboushi don’t live up to expectations (which aren’t particularly high), Jaimes could see more reps with the starting squad. However, it’s more likely that he remains a backup until he can improve on those issues of his.