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Vikings Draft Offensive Lineman Michael Jurgens & Defensive Lineman Levi Drake Rodriguez in 7th Round

2024 Draft Selection 2560x1440_Pick230 copy

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Saturday added to the interior of their offensive and defensive lines in a span of two picks by selecting Michael Jurgens out of Wake Forest at 230 and Levi Drake Rodriguez out of Texas A&M-Commerce at 232.

"I'm so fired up to be a part of the organization," Jurgens said. "Going into the draft, that was exactly where I wanted to end up."

Jurgens appeared in 61 total games for the Demon Deacons, including 46 starts since 2020. His starts included time at center (2020-22) and guard (2023).

He told Twin Cities media members via videoconference he was "fired up" about the trying his hand at guard.

"I thought it was a great opportunity for me to really just learn more about offensive line play and get different perspectives on certain blocks and stuff like that," Jurgens said. "Also a great opportunity to show some versatility to teams, which I hope factored into [Minnesota's] decision. It was a great transition, and I'm happy I did it."

The Maryland native began his college career at Wake Forest in 2018 but was redshirted after appearing in two games. Jurgens worked his way up and was chosen as a captain for the first of three consecutive seasons in 2021.

He earned All-ACC Honorable Mention selections in 2021 when the Demon Deacons won 11 games, including the Gator Bowl, and in 2022 when he helped Wake Forest go 8-5, including a win in the Gasparilla Bowl.

Jurgens is thankful for consistent coaching at Wake Forest that prepared him for the next level. And ever since making a Top 30 visit to Minnesota, he's been drawn to the organization that now will kick off his NFL chapter.

"I think there were nine people there also visiting the day I was. It ran like clockwork," Jurgens said. "Everybody was in meetings at the right time. All the coaches clearly knew who I was and had follow-up questions. It was clearly just a really well-run organization, and I left it thinking it would be the kind of place I want to be – and the kind of place I want to thrive."

2024 Draft Selection 2560x1440_Pick232 copy

Rodriguez echoed Jurgens' sentiments during a videoconference of his own.

The defensive lineman took the call from a bedroom, having slipped away from a large crowd of ecstatic family members and friends to find a quiet space.

"I have a 900-square-foot house with 35, 40 people just in the living room," Rodriguez laughed. "And we have a whole food truck outside, and there's about 30 more people outside, as well.

"Got a lot of family, a lot of people who love me that are here, you know, and it's just awesome to see how they believe in me," he said, smiling broadly. "I wish there were cameras here just so everybody could see this little humble house erupt."

Rodriguez garnered First-Team All-Southland Conference honors in 2023 when he led the Lions with 7.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 10 games.

He was invited to the Tropical Bowl in January, where he was named the MVP after shining throughout the week and capping it with three sacks in the game.

It's been quite the path for Rodriguez, who first played football and baseball for three seasons at Southwestern Assemblies of God in Waxahachie, south of Dallas.

When he had the opportunity to transfer to Texas A&M-Commerce, he felt conflicted. That's when he leaned on his Christian faith.

"I prayed about it, and I fasted for seven days – water, some shakes, green shakes," Rodriguez said. "That's where I got my answer, you know? The Lord said, 'Go.'

"I knew I had more. I knew I had more in my soul and my heart, man. Discipline, motivation, my talent of course, and I did it," Rodriguez added.

As he leaned in closer to his phone screen, Rodriguez's energy was palpable as the grind of another NFL Draft approached its close.

"I'm ready," he said with a grin. "I'm looking forward to this journey. This whole new chapter in my life. You know, I love how my family erupted with joy. It's going to be a great experience – not only for me, but for my family, as well."