Round 2, Pick 57: J.J Arcega Whiteside, WR, Stanford
The Eagles currently have one of the best receiving corps in the league, and when you factor in Zach Ertz as a pass-catcher it only gets better. But beyond this year there is some uncertainty. No one outside of the building can really get a feel on what the Eagles plans are for Nelson Agholor, and DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery are only getting older. Mock drafts where Eagles take a wide-out have consistently put speed-type receivers going to the Eagles. Instead, a player like Arcega-Whisteside would be a much better fit for what the Eagles try to do on offense. At least, that’s what they’re drafting him for.
It seemed unlikely he’d be around in this sort of range, but alas, Howie worked his magic.
Arcega-Whiteside is a big body at 6’2, 226 comparable to none other than Alshon Jeffery. He has great hands, technical route running and is a strong blocker in the run game. There were concerns over his speed but, his pro-day 40 time of 4.49 was impressive. Arcega-Whiteside could serve as a strong red-zone threat and a mismatch machine who could eventually mold into Alshon Jeffery’s successor. It’s ironic then, that he’s the wideout that the Stanford product modeled his game after.
“When I grew up watching Alshon, being from Carolina, it’s like, that’s a guy that everybody in the state knew.” He told reporters shortly after being drafted by the Eagles. As a kid, it’s like, dang, I want to be him one day. I want to be playing college football, like representing my state, having all the kids look up to me. That was me. On top of that, when I get to Stanford and he’s tearing it up in the league, like dang, I’ve got to do whatever he’s doing because whatever he’s doing is working and I want to emulate the same kind of style.”
He averaged 16.8 yards per reception on his 63 catches last year, notching 1,059 yards and hauling in 14 touchdowns. A true-50/50 ball specialist, the Eagles offense is going to be absolutely lethal in the redzone with ‘Arcega-Whiteside’ involved.