Philadelphia Eagles’ second-rounder JJ Arcega-Whiteside might not get a lot of playing time next season, but his role may be significant.
The Philadelphia Eagles had a much different strategy approaching the 2019 NFL Draft. Typically, it seems as though they like to load up on their defense. Guys for the secondary, pass rushers, etc. This year, it was a different story. Knowing they need a big jump from their franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, the Eagles decided it was time to start loading up on the offense.
Their first-round selection was protection for Wentz in Andre Dillard. The first of their second-round picks was a do-it-all back in Miles Sanders. The third pick for the Eagles ended up being an unexpected one as they drafted Stanford’s JJ Arcega-Whiteside.
As many expected a speedy type of recevier to eventually replace DeSean Jackson, the Eagles ended up going out and finding a big-bodied wideout in JJ Arcega-Whiteside. It was a puzzling pick at first, but the Eagles knew exactly what they were doing. Now, Arcega-Whiteside might not see a ton of snaps in 2019 — but with this guy, it’s surely going to be quality over quantity.
The Eagles just wrapped up spring practices, where most people don’t put too much stock into what’s going on at the Nova Care Complex. But when it comes to rookies, impressive OTA, and minicamp sessions do in fact, mean something. It might not be a meaningful game they are participating in, but what they put out on the practice field is what’s left to come. And so far, what’s being said about Arcega-Whiteside is nothing but positive assesments.
What they’re saying about JJ Arcega-Whiteside
“Arcega-Whiteside has already developed a strong reputation with reporters. The second-round rookie has dazzled spectators with his ability to high-point the football. He is simply a bully with the ball in the air. Several times during the offseason program, Arcega-Whiteside used his basketball-esque abilities to his advantage in tight spaces. He may not play a lot between the 20s but Arcega-Whiteside should be active in the red zone.”
– Mike Kaye of NJ Advanced Media
“There is no doubt that the Carson Wentz to Arcega-Whiteside connection could be exceptional, specifically in red-zone situations, as the Eagles’ quarterback possesses the fourth-highest red-zone passing grade (75.2) among quarterbacks since 2016. Despite missing a considerable amount of time over the last three years, Wentz has still tossed 55 red-zone touchdown passes since 2016, the eighth-most among signal-callers. Among the 31 quarterbacks with at least 100 red-zone dropbacks since 2016, Wentz’s 100.7 red-zone passer rating ranks eighth.”
– Connor Price of Pro Football Focus
“As the fourth receiver, I’m not sure how much Arcega-Whiteside is going to play as a rookie, but he will deserve snaps in the red zone. We’ve seen incredible body control from the second-round rookie this spring. It seems like every practice, we’ve seen him leap up and make spectacular grabs, using his basketball background and elite body control. He has been very impressive.”
– Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia
“I’ve seen my share of rookie wide receivers in my time covering the Eagles, and I would put Arcega-Whiteside alongside Jordan Matthews as the most active in terms of making plays in practice. Matthews, if you’ll recall, had a stat line of 67-872-8 his rookie season. Arcega-Whiteside likely won’t put up those kinds of numbers as he has too many established, talented vets ahead of him, but he has already shown that he belongs, and has more upside than JMatt, especially in the red zone.”
– Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice