In this series, we’ll take a look at new additions to the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles team as they work their way through Training Camp and the Preseason. Whether they’re totally new players or old friends, we’ll let you know what to expect from each of these players. Each player will also receive a grade based on their most recent production, injury history, projected production, and the value the Eagles signed them for. Week 1 we discussed DeSean Jackson, and last week Zach Brown was broken down. Now week 3 is all about the Eagles second round draft pick out of Stanford, wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is a big receiver. The former Stanford wideout stands at 6’2” and plays even bigger. In 2018, Arcega-Whiteside caught 19 contested catches (out of just 32 contested-catch targets) according to Pro Football Focus, which is almost four times the amount fellow rookie D.K. Metcalf brought in. If you aren’t aware, Metcalf is a huge body receiver who might end up as Dorial Green-Beckham 2.0 if he can’t find a way to play to his size. That definitely will not be the case with Arcega-Whiteside. He knows how to use his strength and frame to box out cornerbacks and is more than able to grab the ball at its highest point when the quarterback throws it up to him.
As for what Eagles fans can expect from JJAWS (have we landed on a nickname yet? I guess this remains to be decided) in his first year, expect him to sit a lot and learn from the veterans in his receiving corps. We’ll see flashes of brilliance if his skills are able to transfer over to the NFL level. Remember, NFL cornerbacks are bigger, faster, and stronger than the ones he’s used to “Moss-ing” at the college level.
Expect him to enter the field in and/or close to the Redzone. The Birds will want to employ him a lot in situations that he excelled in a lot at Stanford before thrusting him into running routes he’s not used to. Does that mean he won’t play outside of the redzone? Not at all.
In Week 1 of this series, we talked about how Doug Pederson could use DeSean Jackson sparingly in order to keep him healthy, and that means substituting in the other wide receivers. Arcega-Whiteside will definitely gain the experience from 2019 that he will find extremely crucial in his path to eventually become a starting wideout for the Eagles.
Expect JJAWS to maybe have a stat line of anywhere from 20-25 receptions for 300-350 yards and 3 touchdowns for 2019. It might not seem like much, but his main job in 2019 is to learn the position to the best of his ability while we still have Alshon Jeffery and Jackson to guide him.
Next week, we'll look at someone else who will have an impact on the offense -- runningback Jordan Howard.