Expert Analysis


4 min read

Cam Jurgens Can Develop into an Elite Center

Cam Jurgens

Cam Jurgens—become familiar with the name.

Down the road, he could develop into one of the best interior offensive line players from the 2022 NFL Draft. The Nebraska native has had an intriguing journey throughout College Football, leading to this point. He is now considered one of the best centers in this draft class.

The Cornhusker attended Beatrice HS, less than one hour drive from the University of Nebraska campus where he was a multi-sport athlete. Jurgens excelled at basketball, discus, shotput and, of course, football. He was actually an All-Nebraska selection at linebacker in his junior season and even caught passes at tight end and punted for the team.

During his senior season, he became a 3-star recruit at halfback after rushing for 318 yards and 8TDs. He also caught 17 passes for 277 yards during his final season at Beatrice HS. In addition, he played on the other side of the ball at linebacker with 57 tackles and 1 INT the same season.

Jurgens stayed home and attended the University of Nebraska. He redshirted in 2018 after playing in one game, suffering a foot injury. He transitioned from TE to center during this time. Then, during the off-season, he bulked up and returned at 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds—15 pounds heavier than the previous season.

In this redshirt freshman season, he started every game at center. In the COVID-19 affected season, he started 7 out of the 8 games at center (missing the Northwestern game to a lower-leg injury). 2021 was another season with a clean bill of health—starting all 12 games.

Breaking Down Cam Jurgens

Jurgens is an athletic, zone-blocking center who operates well in space and is a true mauler. He always plays right through the whistle, finishing on top of defenders on many reps. Jurgens consistently helps out other O-linemen by looking for work. He gains a great deal of ground during his first few steps out of his stance after the snap, and therefore his explosiveness and speed beats defenders.

There is room for improvement with his strike placement. He often hooks the defender and removes false steps when run-blocking, but overall the tools are there to work with. Jurgens has huge upside as he has only played the position full-time for the last 3 years, and already shows outstanding flashes.

Jurgens also tested incredibly well at the Combine and Nebraska’s Pro Day - finishing with a Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 9.94 at Center, which ranked him 4th out of 532 Centers from 1987 to 2022. All of this makes it easy to think that with good coaching, he can very easily develop into a high-level starter.

You can view Cam Jurgens' full scouting report here.

Cam Jurgens fits with numerous teams in the NFL thanks to the shift toward wide zone, play action offenses with West Coast principles.

Minnesota Vikings

If the Vikings do not wish to offer Garrett Bradbury his 5th Year Option and they want to move on, Jurgens is a very adequate, scheme ready replacement. Kevin O’Connell coming from the Rams will adopt the same west coast, heavy zone running scheme.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns signed Ethan Pocic to a 1-year deal for 2022, but it is obviously not a long-term commitment. It could be ideal for Jurgens to develop for a year without the pressure of being thrown in the NFL deep-end and take over the reins as the starting Center in 2023.

San Francisco 49ers

Alex Mack is signed through 2023, but if they wanted to move on after the 2022 season after allowing Jurgens to learn his craft from a high-level veteran for a year, cutting Mack would save the 49ers $3.95m against the cap with only $1.22m dead money, and they would hopefully have a young, NFL-ready starter for 2023.

Atlanta Falcons

Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot have done a respectable job at overhauling the roster to set themselves up well for 2023 and beyond. Since Alex Mack left, the center position has caused problems for the offense's stability. Matt Hennessy was the starter in 2021, but in another Outside Zone heavy scheme, where a strong, capable Center is so important, it may be a position the Falcons look to sink more draft capital into.