Durability and versatility are important qualities NFL teams look for when adding depth to their offensive line units.
One prospect that checks both of those boxes in the 2021 NFL Draft class is former Nebraska tackle Brenden Jaimes, who spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his experience as a durable starter, how his versatility will help him at the next level, and what kind of mentality it takes to become a successful O-lineman.
JM: You closed out your career at Nebraska by making a school record of 40 consecutive starts. That’s astounding. How do you look back on your time at Nebraska?
BJ: It was an experience that I’ll never forget. I met a lot of great people in my time at Nebraska. I cultivated friendships that will last a lifetime. I’ll forever be thankful for that. The way that Nebraska developed me both as a player and as a man, I can’t say enough good things about the program. My overall experience at Nebraska was a great one. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
JM: Forty straight starts is really something, especially as an offensive lineman. I mean, talk about durability.
BJ: I always try to take care of my body. I love lifting weights. I like feeling good. I’m always working on something in the training room and trying to get something right. I love bettering myself in the weight room. When it came time to put pads on and step on the field, I was ready to go. Preparation makes everything a bit more manageable.
Injuries are part of the game. I give all the glory to God for keeping me safe so far. I played through a lot of little, annoying injuries that were more of the nagging variety. I never had anything serious enough to keep me out of a game. I love playing this game. If I’m healthy enough to play through something, I’ll be out there.
JM: Nobody can question your dedication. When I turn the tape on, I see an offensive lineman who’s incredibly strong and stout at the point of attack. How did you develop those aspects of your game?
BJ: I love watching a lot of film. I like watching the older guys and applying some of what they do into my game. I like watching NFL film. I like dissecting guys like Tyron Smith and Eric Fisher. I consider those guys to be true technicians. I wanna model my game after those types of guys. If I see something that they do on film, I might try it in practice. I want to implement those things into my game. I want to continue working on my technique. I can always get better. That’s my mindset every single day.
JM: Those are two great players to study and learn from. Tell me a little about the mentality that it takes to become a great offensive lineman.
BJ: Every offensive lineman has to have a bit of a nasty attitude on the field. We have to be the most selfless people on the team. We have one of the hardest jobs in all of football, and we don’t get any of the credit for it (laughs). That’s what I signed up for. We aren’t very flashy people. We like to get down and dirty in the trenches. That’s the mentality we need to have to become a great offensive lineman.
JM: I love that. You played a lot of left tackle at Nebraska. You’ve moved around a bit as well. You’ve also been conversing with NFL teams about your fit at the next level. Do you see yourself playing left tackle in the NFL?
BJ: Left tackle is the position I’m most comfortable at. That’s the truth. I played a little bit of right tackle during my freshman year. I played three years at left tackle. When I got to the Senior Bowl, I played guard for the first time. That was obviously something new for me. I feel like I picked it up pretty well. It took just two practices for me to feel pretty good there. I was thankful for the opportunity to showcase my versatility in front of every team. As I’ve gotten deeper into this process, I understand more and more about what these coaches want from me. Things will start to click at other positions for me if they see me playing something other than left tackle.
JM: That all makes a lot of sense. You met with every team in person at the Senior Bowl, and things are happening virtually now. How is that process going for you, and which teams have you met with?
BJ: It’s obviously been a little different. It’s a virtual world right now. We’re not meeting in person, but we’re all making the best of this situation. I try to look for the positives in everything. Speaking with the coaches has been awesome. I’ve spoken with the Cowboys, Packers, Lions, and Patriots just to name a few. I’ve spoken with several coaches throughout the last few weeks, even after the Senior Bowl. It’s been different but I’m very thankful and blessed to be in this position. I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity that comes my way.
JM: That’s great. There’s a lot of interest in you and it’s easy to see why. I’ve really appreciated your time today. In closing, why should an NFL team use one of their draft picks on Brenden Jaimes?
BJ: Coming from Nebraska, I’m going to bring a hard-working, blue-collar type of mindset. Being a rookie, I’m going to understand my role on the team and stay humble. I want to learn from the older guys. I’m gonna work hard and be incredibly hungry to become a better version of myself every single day. That’s what you’re getting in Brenden Jaimes.
Arik Gilbert Doesn’t Need Big Workload To Be A Top NFL Draft Pick
- Aug 22, 2022
2023 NFL Mock Draft: Marino 1.0
- Aug 22, 2022