From now until the 2022 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling Nebraska center Cam Jurgens.
#51 Cam Jurgens/C Nebraska – 6027, 304 lbs.
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Cam Jurgens||6027/304||10″||33 3/8″||80 1/8″|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Good size and bulk, bigger/broader upper half with great length for height and the position
— Elite quickness and snap off the football, fires out of his stance
— Impressive athlete in testing and on tape, fluid mover who easily works into space, true asset on screen plays and can make downfield blocks
— Nasty play demeanor, drive his feet and finishes his blocks, willing and able to pancake defenders into the ground
— Effective puller who widens EDGE players in the run game, experience and competent when asked to pull in playaction pass game
— Able to reach defenders down the line, able to back block DTs on gap runs
— Able to sit and anchor against bull rushes with proper technique, will use hop step to give ground and reanchor but shows functional strength
— Aggressive and looks for work when uncovered in pass protection
— At his best when he can attack and work angles in run game
— True center who snapped shotgun and under center snaps
— Great starting experience
— Needs to play with more control, ball of energy whose technique can get sloppy
— Misses too often in space at second level when climbing, needs to improve angles and hand placement to get better shot on defender
— Has tendency to lunge and play over his toes as a run blocker
— Will get overwhelmed by bigger/quicker DTs
— Struggles when asked to block head-up, needs to keep hands inside to unlock hips and not catch defender, prone to getting stood up in those moments
— Can get too aggressive and called for personal fouls
— Didn’t show much position flexibility, played one spot
— Minor medical concerns, battled foot injuries early in college career
— Three-year starter for Cornhuskers, 30 career starts (all at center)
— Third Team All-Big Ten in 2021
— Named school’s offensive lineman of the year last season
— Three-time All-Academic Big Ten
— Began career at tight end before switching to center in 2018
— Suffered season-ending foot injury in 2018 (redshirted), hurt other foot summer of 2019 and missed fall camp but has been healthy since
— Also part of Nebraska’s track team (shot put)
— Right-handed snapper
— Has beef jerky line named “Beef Jurgy,” nickname is “Beef Jurgens”
— Played TE/LB in high school, battled injuries but caught eight TDs senior season with 57 tackles, also served as team’s punter as a junior
— Also played basketball and threw shot put in HS
— Four-star recruit from Beatrice, Nebraska, chose Nebraska over South Dakota State and UCLA (only three offers)
— Turns 23 in August
Cam Jurgens is one of the top athletes among this year’s crop of interior offensive lineman, right up there with Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum, though probably still a tick behind. Jurgens is a fantastic athlete and his overall career profile speaks to that. A punter, linebacker, and tight end in high school, Cornhuskers’ head coach Scott Frost said in 2018 they weren’t initially sure where to play him.
“Cam is a unique athlete,” Frost said. “When we recruited him we didn’t know what he was for sure, whether he was a tight end or a defensive lineman or something else. After evaluating him for a while he’s as physical and as good of a blocker as we have on our football team and I really think he’s got a potential to be a really good player on the offensive line either at center or guard. I think he’s bought into that and is starting to try and put on good weight instead of losing weight, and he’s another young player that has a chance to be really good around here.”
Those words came true. Getting past foot injuries early in his career, Jurgens became a three-year starting center. Turn on the tape, he explodes off the ball and able to reach/back block or move into the second level. It was fun watching him out in space on screens. He can truly run in space and at times, looks like a tight end on the hoof. Check out this block against Oklahoma, sticking and driving his man 30+ yards downfield.
He’s also an effective puller from the center spot with great snap and bust off the line. His overall quickness and explosion is elite and reflected in his testing, posting a 9.94 Relative Athletic Score. Jurgens also plays with a nasty, aggressive demeanor and loves to finish his blocks.
On the negative, he can play a bit out of control as a big ball of chaotic energy. That can cause him to miss at the second level. He’ll have to work on his angles and ability to redirect once he explodes out to hit his target more effectively and consistently as he climbs.
His aggression can be an issue too. In that first clip I showed of that screen, he was called for a personal foul, one of two such calls against Oklahoma. He also took lumps against Top-50 talent DT Perrion Winfrey, whose size and quickness gave Jurgens some trouble. After playing a little bit of guard very early in his college career, Jurgens was a center-only and currently lacks positional flexibility he’ll need should be enter the league as a backup. That will need to be taught. A minor negative.
Overall, Jurgens has new-school athleticism with an old-school demeanor. He also brings good size and great length you don’t often see from pure centers. He’s a little unrefined for a three-year starter but has the skillset to play in a man or zone scheme, though his athleticism in the latter is highly attractive. Though this will sound more negative than intended, he reminds me a good bit of Kendrick Green except for the fact Jurgens – if kept at center – wouldn’t be making a position switch. He’s also a bit longer than Green. But both are high-level athletes and are aggressive finishers.
Jurgens’ game will need to be reeled in a bit and he’ll have to work on his hand placement, though they are issues that seem fixable.
Projection: Mid-Late Day Two
Depot Draft Grade: 7.8 – Potential Starter/Good Backup (3rd Round)
Games Watched: at Ohio State (2020), at Oklahoma (2021), vs Michigan (2021)