This is where he shines the most. I appreciate how fluid he is both as a puller and when stringing out the point of attack. He’ll be a viable weapon in wide & outside zone concepts to work across face on leveraged IDL to the play strength.
Nebraska center Cam Jurgens projects to the NFL game as a developmental prospect — one who offers a starting ceiling at the pro level and can be a plus starter for an offense that implements a lot of wide zone concepts, screen game and moving pockets. Jurgens offers some of the same appeals as Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum does in the draft, but he comes with marginally better size and presumably a cheaper price tag. Jurgens leaves Nebraska with three consecutive seasons starting at the position and Third-Team All-Big Ten honors under his belt for the 2021 season after redshirting his true freshman season in 2018. Jurgens first arrived in Lincoln as a tight end prospect but quickly acclimated to life in the trenches.
Injuries are something to note, Jurgens suffered an injury during his senior season of HS and endured another significant injury during his true freshman campaign in 2018. But the risk is going to be worth the reward: this is an excellent natural athlete who participated in both football and indoor track & field during his career with the Huskers after a high school career that featured him not just on the gridiron but on the hardwood.
Ideal role: Developmental center
Scheme tendencies: Wide zone, play-action pass-heavy, screen-heavy
Written by Kyle Crabbs
Games watched: Oklahoma (2021), Ohio State (2021), Michigan (2021)
Best Game Studied: Oklahoma (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Purdue (2021)
Competitive Toughness: Do you like blocks 40+ yards down field? You do? You’re in luck! Jurgens is an absolutely tenacious blocker in space who offers stickiness and urgency to mirror and run with second level defenders. His ability to dictate terms at the point of attack isn’t as dynamic but he’s got a quick set of hands and quickly gets on top of defenders to help claim momentum at first contact.
Balance: Consistency here is something that I did feel could be polished up. Too many of his blocks fitting in close quarters weren’t with the kind of angles that made life easy on him to sustain a frame of the block and as a result he overextends and loses his footing on the first level. He’s a much more fluid and impressive player when working in space.
Anchor Ability: Jurgens isn’t someone I would consider to be a power center and he doesn’t have a ton of overwhelming functional strength. That said, he’s built low and stocky with good hinges, which allows him to sit underneath defenders and utilize a low center of gravity.
Lateral Mobility: See Above.
Power at POA: There are some good flashes of pop and firm impact. Jurgens does well to roll through contact and engage the lower half, running the feet to create push. But his drive is too often offset by ineffective hand placement and angles, creating inefficiencies that rob him of maximum capacity power.
Hand Technique: Jurgens showcases quick hands but his strike consistency and wingspan are limiting factors that pose challenges to optimal performance. He’s more so sticky thanks to movement skills than he is due to clamp power or reach.
Football IQ: Conversion to tight end has come relatively seamlessly and offers inspiration that there’s better days ahead and a developmental ceiling to grow into. He honestly reminds me of early-stage Tyler Linderbaum — not just from a stature standpoint but in the areas of growth needed. We’ve seen how that’s worked for Tyler; whether or not Jurgens follows suit is a big determinant in his ceiling. Snap accuracy has been a noted problem and is a significant needed area of improvement.
Versatility: I do not foresee a lot of positional versatility in his future. Jurgens is compact as a player and does not offer the power or anchor to be a featured player at guard. Center-exclusive and likely someone who needs to be a zone system to maximize his athleticism.
Pass Sets: Jurgens does well to actively look for work and stay engaged on reps in which he’s uncovered. Shows good knee bend and hip drop to get leveraged when defenders work on top of him quickly.
Flexibility: This is an easy mover at the position. His body control and athleticism really pop and shine — it’s easy to appreciate how dynamic his base is. That allows him to play with suddenness and mirror cleanly both at the line of scrimmage and when flowing in space.
TDN Consensus: 73.13/100 (Fourth Round Value)
Crabbs Grade: 72.00/100
Marino Grade: 73.50/100
Sanchez Grade: 71.50/100
Weissman Grade: 75.50/100