On day one of the draft, the Chargers drafted left tackle Rashawn Slater. They still needed depth, though. They took a step forward when they selected Brenden Jaimes from Nebraska, who played tackle in college but was listed as a guard by the team.
Jaimes spoke to the media and said that he didn't know where he would be played but that all he cares about is coming in and competing. That is what he did at Nebraska. He had a Cornhuskers record of starting 40 games.
"I've played against a lot of good competition in the Big 10," said Jaimes. "A lot of those guys in the league now. So, I think it just shows that I can play at that level in this league."
According to PFF, he only allowed seven sacks in 1,443 pass blocks, so he is a guy whom the coaches can count on. He mentioned that he models his game to Cowboys Tyron Smith, Packers David Bakhtiari, and former Chief Eric Fisher. All three were/are franchise left tackles.
It will be interesting to see what the Chargers do with him, but a move to guard could happen. A player whom Jaimes said he had heard a lot of comparisons to is former Patriot now Chief guard Joe Thuney. He was a solid tackle in college but was pushed inside and has become an all-pro guard.
"He's been very successful," Jaimes said. "So, I try to do what he does. Make my own name for myself and do the best that I can."
Jaimes has played tackle his whole collegiate career, but at the Senior Bowl, the coaches decided to try him at guard during the week.
"I just felt like I got better and better, even if it was only like three days of practice," explained Jaimes. "So, I think you give me a couple of weeks a month or so to get kind of used to that position. I think I can really thrive in that position."
He is coming in with a chip on his shoulder like Slater and Asante Samuel Jr. before him. They all felt like they should have gone higher than where they were drafted.
"I feel like I was just as good if not better than some of these guys that have been drafted before me," explained Jaimes. "Obviously, they're all great players, and they all deserve to go where they're where they went. But I feel like I'm right up there with them. I've always been doubted throughout my football career for being too light, not strong enough, not fast enough. So, it's just another obstacle to overcome."
Lastly, the Chargers are getting another community leader. Jaimes has donated hundreds of hours to doing a lot of good in the community, like going to local hospitals to bring smiles to patients.
"It's been important to me since I was in high school, and to be on this stage and to have this platform to not do something good with it would be would be somewhat of a waste," said Jaimes.