Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Offensive Lineman Cameron Jurgens Selected by Eagles in NFL Draft

April 29, 2022

Nebraska offensive lineman Cameron Jurgens is officially in the NFL. He is the 51st pick by the Philadelphia Eagles.

The lineman was the highest-selected offensive lineman from Nebraska since the 2014 draft. Spencer Long was picked with the 78th pick by Washington that year. Jurgens was the highest draft selection for Nebraska since 2016. That’s when Maliek Collins was drafted 67th by Dallas.

Jurgens (6-3, 303) was among the best performing centers at the NFL Combine and during Nebraska’s Pro Day. He was the fifth-fastest offensive lineman at the NFL Combine with a 4.92 40-yard dash. Jurgens also ripped off 25 reps of the bench press which was good for 14th in all position groups. His athletic ability caused him to shoot up mock draft boards during the lead-up to the draft.

Jurgens is viewed as one of the most explosive offensive lineman in the draft. His athletic background and path to becoming a standout center is unique. He was a 4-star tight end coming out of high school and picked Nebraska over LSU. The Tigers made a late push for him as the Huskers were going through a transition between coach Mike Riley and Scott Frost.

Frost saw the potential for Jurgens to move to center early in his career. While Jurgens suffered a season-ending injury during the 2018 season, Frost convinced him to add weight and move to center. He battled through learning a new position and snapping issues to become the third-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches following the 2021 season.

Frost was correct in the end about his view of Jurgens being a dynamic center. Even through the struggles early in his career, the coach stuck with Jurgens at center. That included a game with five errant snaps in a loss to Iowa.

“He’s smart, he’s extremely athletic and he’s exceptionally explosive,” Frost said in 2020. “He’s still in some ways learning the position. He didn’t play it until last season, but he’s got the skill set to be really, really special at that position.”

The Beatrice, Nebraska, native was a three-year starter at center for the Huskers and started 18 consecutive games for the team. Jurgens did not take part in Nebraska’s senior day activities ahead of the matchup with Iowa. It was still unclear at that time if he’d declare for the NFL Draft. Frost knew there were players that needed to be convinced to stay in Lincoln.

“We’re going to let some walk (honored for Senior Day) that are still going to make a decision after Senior Day whether they’re going to get two Senior Days or one,” Frost said. “A lot of guys we’d love to see come back again. We think it’s smart for those guys to probably celebrate Senior Day and then put their foot in the water and check and see what their (pro) status would be and make a good decision.”

Jurgens bet on himself by declaring for the draft early when he could have returned to school to anchor Nebraska’s line. Now the homegrown Husker will show the NFL what he can do.

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