Cam Jurgens film break down. Is he the future at center?
With the 51st pick in the NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles took former Nebraska center Cam Jurgens as their long term answer at center. The pick received mix results from fans, but it was clear that GM Howie Roseman was locked into Jurgens and he was the player they coveted at that spot. Jurgens started his career as a tight end before transitioning to center in 2019. He made 18 consecutive starts to end his career, and finished as a 3rd team All-Big 10 selection. Jurgens has a lot of developing left to do as a player, posting PFF grades of 44.1 (2019), 42.7 (2020), and 71.4 (2021) from the pivot.
While many felt at the time, and still feel that Jurgens was a reach, he gets the opportunity to learn from a HOF center and one of the best offensive line coaches in the game. There’s talk about Jurgens maybe getting snaps at RG, but it would be in his best interest to redshirt in 2022 and learn the game and work on his technique before being moved into the starting lineup. But it definitely helps to know that Jason Kelce was a big fan of Jurgens and believes he has plenty of potential in the NFL. Enough talk though, let’s take a look at Jurgens’s strengths as a player and areas for improvement.
“Out of all the guys that compare the most to myself, this guy is him.” @JasonKelce sees a lot of his qualities in Eagles pick Cam Jurgens
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) April 30, 2022
Cam Jurgens: 6’3 303 lbs
- Run blocking
- Blocking technique
One thing is definitely clear when watching Jurgens play, he is a plus athlete at the position. He’s able to use his athleticism in a variety of ways to pull in front of running backs, get to the second level to block line backers or secondary players, and to pick up blitzers. He ran a 4.94 40 yard dash at the combine, highlighting his athletic ability.
Jurgens is a much better run blocker at this point than he is a pass blocker, and he’s able to use his athleticism to attack defenders as opposed to sitting back and waiting for them to engage. He has really strong hands and when he’s able to get into the body of the defender, he’s usually able to stay latched on and open up good running holes.
Despite being relatively new to playing center, Jurgens does a good job of identifying blitzers and making blocking adjustments. You see him routinely slide outside to pick up free running pass rushers to keep his QB clean in the pocket and his athleticism plays a big part in that.
Jurgens is still a work in progress with his blocking technique. Again, he’s a lot better going forward as a run blocker than he is moving backwards pass blocking. He struggles with power rushers, and when he can’t get a good base beneath him he tends to get beat relatively quickly. He needs to continue to work on his hand placement and footwork to make sure his hands and feet work in unison.
Jurgens is an aggressive player and plays right up until the whistle most times. There are instances in which he gets himself in trouble by being too physical however, which led to personal foul penalties. Jurgens has to learn to keep his play within the boundaries of what’s allowed, because 15 yard penalties can be a drive killer and lead to you not seeing the field.
When Jurgens was selected I felt there were better players on the board at the time that could have an immediate impact on the Eagles roster in 2022. But after re-watching several games it’s easy to see the potential that Jurgens has to become an impact player at an integral position. He’s still a clear work in progress and could use 2022 as an opportunity to red shirt in order to get better with his hands, feet, and overall strength as a blocker. Jason Kelce isn’t going to be around forever so it’s important to begin thinking about a contingency plan for 2023 and beyond. It helps that Kelce signs off on the pick, and I’m sure he will be more than willing to help Jurgens learn the tricks of the trade and pass off an knowledge he has that will help shorten his learning curve. I look forward to seeing Jurgens fighting against Davis and the interior defensive linemen in training camp, which will only help him become a better player.
I give this selection a B, which is higher than my initial thoughts after Jurgens was selected. He has a great opportunity ahead of him to make the best of his draft selection and doesn’t have a ton of pressure on him to produce immediately. I have my doubts that he can play right guard right away, and rushing him to start immediately wouldn’t be in his best interest.