Eagles add Kelce's possible successor in second round


For the second year in a row, the Eagles have drafted an interior offensive lineman in the second round.

With the 51st pick overall, the Eagles on Friday selected Nebraska center Cam Jurgens. Last year, they selected Alabama guard Landon Dickerson, who started most of his rookie year.

Jurgens, 6-3, 303 pounds, arrived in Lincoln as a tight end before converting to center, and he wound up as a three-year starter.

Center may not be an immediate need, but Jason Kelce turns 35 in November, is going into his 12th season with the Eagles and isn’t expected to play much longer.

Like Kelce 11 years ago, Jurgens is a terrific athlete with strong technique but a bit under-sized. Kelce parlayed those traits into a likely Hall of Fame career. And while Jurgens has a long way to go before he’s even an NFL starter, his style of play would presumably allow him to replace Kelce whenever he does retire without the offense changing.

Jurgens ran a 4.92 in the 40 at the Combine, the fastest time by a center since Kelce ran 4.89 in 2011. Those are two of the five-fastest center times at the Combine in the last 20 years.

Jurgens plays to the whistle and maybe a little bit after the whistle. Safe bet he’ll get into his share of fights in training camp.

“I think it’s hard to be a good o-lineman if you don’t have a little grit, a little edge to you, and that’s something I really pride myself in,” Jurgens said in a recent interview on the Rich Eisen Show. “I’m trying to be the toughest guy on the field every time I step out there.


“In football, you can’t care about people you piss off. It’s kind of the job of o-linemen, you’ve got to get dirty, you’ve got to be in the trenches there and you don’t get no love, no glory, but that’s kind of the job for us and it kind of fits my mold.”

Jurgens, a three-time state discus champion at Beatrice (Neb.) High School, joins one of the best offensive lines in the league and will get to work with one of the best offensive line coaches in history in Jeff Stoutland.

Jurgens is the fifth offensive lineman the Eagles have taken in the first two rounds since Howie Roseman became GM in 2010. Danny Watkins, Lane Johnson and Andre Dillard were first-round picks and Dickerson a second-round pick.

Jurgens – nicknamed “Beef” Jurgy from his own brand of beef jerky – is the first Nebraska player the Eagles have drafted since Nate Gerry in the fifth round in 2017 and the first they’ve drafted in the first two rounds since Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bob Brown with the second overall pick in 1964.

The Eagles have drafted well in the second round for about the last 15 years, taking players such as DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Mychal Kendricks, Zach Ertz, Jordan Matthews, Dallas Goedert, Miles Sanders, Jalen Hurts and Landon Dickerson.

“You’ve got to make sure you’re setting the tone because the guys around us on the o-line, I’ve got to make sure I’m doing my job so they have confidence in me when I’m making my calls and at the end of the day make sure nobody touches our quarterback,” Jurgens said.

“Run game, pass game, it’s all the same. Trying to put guys on the ground, trying to set the tone because that’s where the game’s won and lost a lot of times.”

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