Did Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Bestow a Rookie Lineman with a Stellar Nickname?

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Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has an elite education but nevertheless comes across as being down to earth and charming. It’s an endearing way to be.

Not too long ago, Adofo-Mensah had a sitdown conversation with the Vikings’ team reporter Tatum Everett. She did a segment to get the executive’s thoughts on the different draft picks and the response to Michael Jurgens was notable. Per the GM, Jurgens is a “technician,” a descriptor he offered alongside a bit of a pause. How does Michael “The Technician” Jurgens sound?

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and The Rookie Lineman as a Technician

For a little while, the situation at left guard looked uninspiring.

Blake Brandel got pencilled into the spot, largely because there wasn’t much of an effort to bring Dalton Risner back. Well, that issue has been rectified: Risner is back. The end result is a guard competition featuring Risner, Brandel, Ed Ingram, and Dan Feeney. And, of course, the rookie Jurgens.

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Michael Jurgens seems like a brain. In fact, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah connected the “technician” quip with the lineman’s background studying mathematics: “His precision on the field matches his mathematical major. Functionally athletic for the position. Smart, tough, just the boring words that people throw at o-linemen that you love on your team.”

So, Adofo-Mensah is impressed.

Consider the scouting blurb about Jurgens on NFL.com: “Solid three-year starter as a center/guard but will need to stick at center as his primary position. Jurgens uses accurate hands and consistent footwork to fit blocks with good centering, but he doesn’t have the core strength needed to displace opponents or keep from being pulled and shoved off balance by a strong nose tackle. He’s fairly average as an athlete but he does see the field well in pass protection and steadies the gaps around him.”

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Based on the scouting blurb alone – which is to say nothing of lasting until 230th in the draft – Jurgens is best thought of as a depth piece for 2024.

His most direct competition for a roster spot is Feeney, the veteran journeyman who got added in free agency. Last year, Feeney played for the Bears, hopping into sixteen games while starting one. PFF wasn’t overly impressed, giving him a dismal 44.8 grade for his efforts.

Meanwhile, Michael Jurgens was putting in work for Wake Forest. Per PFF, he was responsible for allowing just a single sack, 5 hurries, and 7 pressures across his 811 snaps. So, a pretty snappy report card for “The Technician.” Notably, he did that work while lining up at left guard for 735 snaps and center for 76 snaps.

The Vikings love versatility, so the young guy’s ability to shuffle around is a major bonus for Minnesota. In his college career, Jurgens had 735 snaps at left guard and 2,239 at center. Showing that he can also hop into the right guard spot will only increase his value to the team.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Wake Forest
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports – Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota has the rare chance of securing total o-line continuity moving into 2024. A starting fivesome of Christian Darrisaw, Dalton Risner, Garrett Bradbury, Ed Ingram, and Brian O’Neill isn’t a bad spot to be, especially if there’s growth from the right guard. Blake Brandel would then be the first off the bench along the interior as David Quessenberry is the backup swing tackle.

Where Jurgens could fit into the equation is as a versatile, smart young lineman who offers insurance at multiple spots. Can he stick around the roster and keep refining his craft? In time, perhaps, he challenges for a starting spot, maybe being the Bradbury replacement down the road.

For whatever it’s worth, Jurgens carries a $822,185 cap charge. Feeney comes in at $1,800,000.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference, PFF, and Over the Cap helped with this piece.

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K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.