While the Philadelphia Eagles were a great team last season, they will need to stay ahead of the curve to not be passed by the rest of the NFL. Each season brings on its own set of challenges and this season will be no different. The Eagles will bring back nine of the 11 starters from the offense last season. The biggest loss comes from the NFL’s number-one-ranked offensive line. The Eagles lost right guard Isaac Seumalo to the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason. A massive question with this team is how will the right guard replacement perform. Do not worry Eagle fans, the 2023 Philadelphia Eagles hidden gem is Cam Jurgens.
Cam Jurgens is The Hidden Gem For the 2023 Philadelphia Eagles
Who Is Cam Jurgens?
Cam Jurgens played his college ball at the University of Nebraska. He was a highly recruited tight end but was moved to center halfway through his redshirt freshman year. Jurgen did not have the prototypical body for a tight end so he was moved to center to make the most of his athleticism.
Jurgens was picked in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Jurgens draft pick came as a surprise to some because he played exclusively at center for Nebraska’s offensive line. The Eagles also had a future hall-of-fame center Jason Kelce on their roster. As a result, Jurgens played sparingly during his rookies season, mostly coming in for garbage time snaps. Jurgens will now look to take the reigns this season as the Eagles starting right guard.
Cam Jurgens Will Remind Eagles Fans of…
The guy who is playing right next to him, Jason Kelce. Jurgens and Kelce have a similar size and build. Kelce thinks the world of Jurgens, so much so that he helped scout him before the 2022 NFL Draft. He has spent time last season and this off-season coaching him up to prepare him for the NFL.
Kelce joined Sports Radio 94WIP this week and had this to say, “His weight-to-strength ratio is through the roof. This guy front squatted 550 pounds. He has incredible strength and explosion. We are going to find out if he can do guard. He’s got a lot of traits that everyone in the organization likes.” He would go on to say, “I think the world of him as a center, he has so many traits, I’d be hard press to find out that he can’t play guard.”
Some Cam Jurgens tape pic.twitter.com/XzyACDqt7V
— Aidan Doc🧸 (@AidanDoc_) February 2, 2023
The Best Type of Outlier
Cam Jurgens does not have the typical size for a guard at the NFL level. Jurgens is 6′-3″ and 303 pounds. While that might sound large, in NFL terms, it is not. For comparison, Eagles current left guard Landon Dickerson is 6′-6″ and 332 pounds. However, Jurgens has elite traits and is an exceptional athlete.
Coming out of college Jurgens ran a 4.92 40-yard dash. That is exceptionally fast for his size. He has great lateral quickness and climbs to the second level to cut off linebackers. He is an outstanding fluid athlete. Remember, he was recruited to college to play tight end. His fast hands will help him out more at the guard position than it would at the center. He plays with a strong core and can anchor down. Although he will struggle at times with people much bigger than him. His game will shine out in space as a pulling guard or out on screenplays.
Cam Jurgens is also a very smart player. He was a three-year starter in college and made the line calls before the plays. While he won’t initially have to do that in the NFL, it will serve him well in the future when Kelce does retire.
Why This Could Work
Jurgens has never played guard and making that transition will be challenging. One thing Jurgens has going for him is his supporting cast. Philadelphia’s offensive line is very experienced and he lines up in between Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson, both of whom are likely to have a gold jacket in the future.
An underrated part of the Eagles organization is their coaching staff, particularly their offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. Stoutland has gotten exceptional play out of the talent he has been given. Former Eagles guard Brandon Brooks played four seasons without Stoutland with the Houston Texans. Brooks made zero Pro Bowls in those seasons. After he joined the Eagles and Stoutland, he made his three Pro Bowls in four healthy seasons. Stoutland also took a seventh-round pick rugby player and turned him into a Pro Bowl-level left tackle in Jordan Mailata.
Jurgens plans to play this season at 310 pounds to about 315 pounds. That is roughly the equivalent of playing at 295 for a center. It is not ideal and it takes a special player, however, he will be that special player.
Main Photo: Eric Hartline – USA Today Sports