3 Pro Bowlers the Chargers could have drafted under Brandon Staley but didn't
By Jason Reed
Talanoa Hufanga instead of Brenden Jaimes, 2021
With the 159th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft the LA Chargers selected interior offensive lineman Brenden Jaimes. Jaimes was not expected to be a starter and has been a cheap, in-house depth option for the Chargers to deploy.
In theory, there is nothing wrong with taking an offensive lineman like this in the draft. In fact, that is a common practice that the Chargers should continue to do to build out the depth. That logic is what got the team Salyer in 2022.
However, Brandon Staley would probably go back and change the pick if he could knowing that Talanoa Hufanga was on the board still. As a defensive guy, Staley would really appreciate Hufanga's game in LA and would give the team a safety option moving forward after Nasir Adderley retired.
Hufanga had a great season for the San Francisco 49ers in 2022 and was a key part of the 49ers' exceptional defense. Not only did Hufanga earn a Pro Bowl berth for his play but he was a first-team All-Pro as well.
There could have been a sliding doors effect as well. If the Chargers selected Hufanga in the 2021 NFL Draft then they would not have needed to select JT Woods in round three the following year. Instead, the Chargers could have targeted another area of the secondary.