During his final season with Stanford last year, JJ Arcega-Whiteside was easily their best wide receiver. The second round pick caught 63 passes for 1,059 yards with 14 touchdowns. There was no other wide receiver at Stanford that had any comparable stats. This was a breakout year for him; in 2017 he only had 781 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Strengths: Jump Ball Ability, Strong Hands, Separation
JJ’s uses his basketball skills from high school to help shield defenders in the endzone and go up and grab 50/50 balls. Whiteside is also known for having strong hands, which contribute to his success in jump balls. Using some more basketball skills, JJ can create separation very easily. We should be able to see these strengths in action when he takes the field during his rookie year.
One obvious weakness that JJ has is his speed. During his time at Stanford, JJ was not know for being a deep threat. It didn’t help that he did not run at the NFL Combine. I do believe that JJ is faster than people think, but for now speed is his main weakness.
Role for 2019
JJ won’t have to step in right away and perform with the names Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor ahead of him, on top Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert getting plenty of looks. Expect Whiteside to be primarily used in the red zone, adding another deadly piece to the Eagles’ red zone offense this year. This role will be great for JJ as this is what he excels in the most, and he will have those three wide receivers ahead of him to learn and compete with all season.
2019 Season Expectations and Predictions
As stated above, don’t expect JJ to have a huge year. He is going to be a fourth string wide receiver and won’t get many snaps until the team is in the red zone. If he does catch touchdowns this year, it will be here where he performs the best. However, due to unfortunately common injury concerns with Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, Whiteside may have to come in and fill a big hole for a game or two. In his rookie year, Whiteside will be a player who won’t be on the field all of the time, but when he is, he will be a reliable option for Carson Wentz.
Prediction: 23 rec, 196 Yds, 3 TDs