3 2021 NFL Draft decisions the Chargers would change with a time machine
By Jason Reed
2. Trey Smith instead of Brenden Jaimes with the 159th overall pick
This is a bit unfair to Brenden Jaimes as he did not play at all in 2021. However, Jaimes had plenty of chances to play with the Chargers suffering multiple injuries to the offensive line and the Chargers never put him in as he was "not ready". That is not a great sign.
However, I still really liked Jaimes coming out of college and he could absolutely blossom into a quality starter for the Chargers. Someone who is already a quality starting guard in the NFL is Trey Smith, who has been part of this rebuilt Kansas City offensive line.
In a perfect world perhaps the Chargers select Jaimes with the 159th pick and select Smith with the 185th pick (sorry, Nick Niemann). But Niemann was still really good on special teams and we are doing one-for-one swaps and in a time machine, the Chargers would probably flip these two.
Smith proved to be a quality starter for the Chiefs and he could have slotted in after Oday Aboushi got injured in Week 5. Granted, he would have had to earned it in camp as the job was not clear-cut like in Kansas City but based on what we have seen this year, he definitely would have.
Then the Chargers would not have any question marks about the right guard position and the Bolts really would have just needed a right tackle this offseason. Instead, we cannot completely trust Jaimes to start in 2022 as we have no idea where he is at as a pro. Sure, they can praise his development all they want but they did the same thing with Trey Pipkins.
Our own Tyler Gallagher forecasted after the 2021 Draft that the Bolts would regret not taking Smith (and Herbert!) and boy was he right.