2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Nebraska C Cam Jurgens
Between now and the 2022 NFL Draft, we hope to research 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 the top 10 potential picks, down to Day 3 draft picks and priority undrafted free agents. Today I’ll be featuring Nebraska center Cam Jurgens.
#51 Cam Jurgens/C Nebraska – 6027, 304 lbs.
|Player||Height/Weight||hand size||arm length||wingspan|
|Cam Jürgens||6027/304||ten”||33 3/8″||80 1/8″|
|40 yard dash||10 yard dash||Short shuttle||3-cone|
|Long jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
– Good size and volume, taller/wider top half with great length for height and position
– Elite speed and smash the soccer ball, shoot out of position
– Impressive athlete in tests and on tape, smooth engine that works easily in space, a real asset on screen games and can do blockages in the field
– Wicked play behavior, sinks his feet and finishes his blocks, willing and able to drive defenders into the ground
— Efficient puller that expands EDGE players in the run game, experience and proficient when asked to pull in the pass game playaction
– Able to reach defenders down the line, able to block TDs on gap runs
– Able to sit up and anchor against jostling with proper technique, will use jump step to give ground and re-anchor but shows functional strength
– Aggressive and seeks work when discovered in passage protection
– At his best when he can attack and work angles in the running game
– True center that broke shotgun and under center snaps
— Excellent starting experience
— Must play with more control, ball of energy whose technique can get sloppy
– Lacks in second level space too often when climbing, needs to improve angles and hand placement to better shoot defender
– Tends to split and play on its toes like a run blocker
– Will be overwhelmed by bigger/faster DTs
– Struggles when asked to block heads up, must keep hands inside to unlock hips and not catch defender, prone to getting up in those moments
– Can become overly aggressive and called for personal fouls
– Didn’t show much positional flexibility, played one place
– Minor medical issues, foot injuries battled early in college career
– Three-year starter for Cornhuskers, 30 career starts (all center)
– Third team All-Big Ten in 2021
– Named school offensive lineman of the year last season
— Three-time All-Academic Big Ten
— Started his career at tight end before moving to center in 2018
– Suffered a season-ending foot injury in 2018 (in redshirt), injured another foot in the summer of 2019 and missed fall camp, but has been healthy ever since
– Also part of the Nebraska track and field team (shot put)
— Right handed snapper
– Has a beef jerky line named “Beef Jurgy”, the nickname is “Beef Jurgens”
– Played TE/LB in high school, struggled with injuries but caught eight TDs in senior season with 57 tackles, also served as team punter as a junior
— Also played basketball and shot put in HS
— Four-star rookie Beatrice, Nebraska, picked Nebraska over South Dakota State and UCLA (only three offers)
— At 23 in August
Cam Jurgens is one of the top athletes among this year’s generation of interior offensive linemen, right up there with Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum, though he’s still probably a tick behind. Jurgens is a fantastic athlete and his overall career profile reflects that. A high school punter, linebacker and tight end, Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost said in 2018 that they initially didn’t know where to play him.
“Cam is a unique athlete,” Frost said. “When we signed him, we didn’t know exactly what he was, if he was a tight end or a defensive lineman or something. After evaluating him for a while, he’s also physical and as good a blocker as we have on our football team and I really think he has the potential to be a really good player on the offensive line whether it’s center or guard. bought into that and started trying to gain weight instead of losing weight, and he’s another young player who has a chance to be really good here.
These words have come true. Coming off of foot injuries early in his career, Jurgens became a three-year-old starting center. Turn on the tape, he explodes from the ball and is able to reach / block or pass to the second level. It was fun to watch it in space on screens. He can really run in space and sometimes feels like a tight end on the hoof. Check out this block against Oklahoma, sticking and driving his man 30+ yards down the field.
He is also an effective center-point shooter with a great snap and bust off the line. His overall quickness and outburst are elite and reflected in his tests, boasting a relative athletic score of 9.94. Jurgens also plays with mean and aggressive demeanor and likes to finish his blocks.
On the downside, he can play a little out of control like a big, chaotic ball of energy. This can cause him to miss the second level. He will need to work on his angles and his ability to redirect once he explodes to hit his target more efficiently and consistently as he climbs.
His aggressiveness can also be a problem. In that first clip I showed from this screen, he was called for a personal foul, one of two such calls against Oklahoma. He also took pieces against Top 50 talent DT Perrion Winfrey, whose size and speed gave Jurgens a hard time. After playing a bit of guard early in his college career, Jurgens was a center-only and currently lacks the positional flexibility he’ll need to enter the league as a backup. It will have to be taught. A small negative point.
Overall, Jurgens has new-school athleticism with old-school demeanor. It also brings good size and great length that you don’t often see from pure centers. He’s a little rough for a three-year-old starter, but he has the skills to play in a men’s or zone program, although his athleticism in the latter is very appealing. While that sounds more negative than expected, he reminds me a bit of Kendrick Green, except for the fact that Jurgens – if kept in the middle – wouldn’t change position. He is also a bit longer than Green. But both are top athletes and aggressive finishers.
Jurgens’ game will need to be upped a bit and he will need to work on his hand placement, although these are issues that seem fixable.
Projection: Mid-end of the second day
Depot Draft Grade: 7.8 – Potential Starter / Good Backup (3rd round)
Games watched: at Ohio State (2020), at Oklahoma (2021), against Michigan (2021)