LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Ranking the 2021 rookies by projected first-year impact

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 17: Cornerback Asante Samuel, Jr. #26 of the Florida State Seminoles during the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Doak Campbell Stadium on Bobby Bowden Field on October 17, 2020 in Tallahassee, Florida. The Seminoles defeated the Tar Heels 31 to 28. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 17: Cornerback Asante Samuel, Jr. #26 of the Florida State Seminoles during the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Doak Campbell Stadium on Bobby Bowden Field on October 17, 2020 in Tallahassee, Florida. The Seminoles defeated the Tar Heels 31 to 28. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
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(Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

3. Brenden Jaimes

Outside of the first two selections, getting Brenden Jaimes in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft was probably my favorite selection of the entire draft for the LA Chargers. I know it is bold to put a fifth-round pick this high on an impact list but this is a guy that the Chargers could have taken with the 97th pick and I would not have hated it.

There are two reasons why Jaimes will have a bigger impact than the other rookies on this list. First is that I like his chances to beat out Oday Aboushi on the offensive line. A lot of fans have been hyping up Aboushi because of eight solid games last season but the reality is that he is a guard that has bounced around and not played much… for a reason.

If Aboushi gets the veteran advantage then Jaimes still will have an impact as a versatile depth option. While he is better suited to play on the inside at the NFL level, he did play tackle in college and has that positional versatility that the Chargers value on the offensive line.

A starting member of the offensive line is much more impactful than a blocking tight end, RB3 or a rotational pass rusher. This is someone who is responsible for protecting Justin Herbert and blocking for said running back.

Is Jaimes going to be this exceptional guard in year one? Not at all and there probably will be hiccups along the way. But if the position battle in camp is even close then it makes more sense to go with him and get him the reps early.

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