Jason Kelce Reacts to Eagles Drafting His Potential Replacement

Cameron Jurgens

Getty Nebraska center Cameron Jurgens went No. 51 overall to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2022 NFL draft.

Jason Kelce may be playing his final season in a midnight green jersey in 2022, so it’s time to prepare for the future. The Philadelphia Eagles took the first step toward Kelce’s inevitable retirement on Friday by drafting Cameron Jurgens.

They chose the 6-foot-3, 290-pound center out of Nebraska at pick No. 51 in the second round. Jurgens has arguably the most Philly-centric nickname of all time: “Beef Jurgey.” Jurgens actually makes and sells his own artisan beef jerky under that label.

But the Eagles didn’t make this pick for funny memes. No, Jurgens was arguably the best center in the 2022 draft class, with some scouts ranking him ahead of Tyler Linderbaum who went 25th overall to Baltimore. Jurgens is the real deal.

Ironically, Bleacher Report called Jurgens “Jason Kelce-lite” in their scouting report. They hyped up his dominant run blocking, adding that he needed to bulk up his 290-pound frame to hold off speedy edge rushers in pass protection. What better way to do that than by mentoring under Kelce himself.

“Cam Jurgens was a three-year starter inside Nebraska’s multiple run-play option/play-action heavy system with 31 career starts at center,” wrote Bleacher Report. “He was listed at 290 pounds this past season and has a noticeably lean build with marginal mass and girth that calls into question how much more weight he can put onto his frame.”

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Fans, Analysts Debate Jurgens vs. Nakobe Dean

Eagles fans weren’t exactly thrilled with the Eagles deciding to pick Jurgens in the second round. It was nothing personal against the athletic kid from Nebraska. They just saw other players available at positions of greater need on the board.

For example: Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean, the 2021 Butkus Award winner who slipped due to injury concerns. He was teammates with first-rounder Jordan Davis, too. Oh well.

The “drafted center” referred to above was Landon Dickerson. The 2021 second-rounder who filled in at left guard and started 13 games for the Eagles. The front office clearly sees Dickerson as the long-term answer at guard with Brandon Brooks’ retirement. And Isaac Seumalo rehabbing from injury. They’ll mold Jurgens into Kelce’s eventual successor.

Kelce Reacts to Eagles Picking His Replacement

Wait for the twist: Kelce was watching the draft live with Adam Lefkoe of B/R Gridiron when the pick was announced. That could have been very awkward considering Jurgens is expected to replace Kelce but it wasn’t.

Why? Because Kelce told the Eagles to take Jurgens. He had been asked to evaluate his favorite college centers and this is the guy he liked the best. Kelce sees himself in the kid.

“If he was available, I knew we were taking him,” Kelce said. “So this is my favorite player in the draft, I’m not just saying that because we picked him. The Eagles have been using me to like evaluate some of the centers coming out and of all the guys that I’ve looked at, like for the past two, three years – out of all the guys that compare the most to myself, this guy is him.”

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