Arcega-Whiteside Adds to Eagles Depth at Wideout Position
Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman went out of his way in the time leading up to this year's draft to emphasize how good the defensive lineman were in the 2019 class.
Yet, somehow his first three picks ended up beefing up the offensive side of the ball in the pass-heavy NFL.
"Have you met our head coach?" Roseman joked. "What side of the ball is he on?"
Stanford receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who became the 57th overall pick on Friday, is just one of the new toys that Pederson will have to play with this season.
For sure, Arcega-Whiteside's 4.49 40-yard dash time eased some doubters and opened eyes at the combine. The junior tallied an impressive stat-line while at Stanford, with 135 catches for 2,219 yards and 28 scores during his tenure, including a 63-1,059-14 receiving line last season.
The area where he might be most impressive is in ability to catch the ball in traffic and as a a red-zone threat, dominating the 50/50 balls, but he hopes to offer much more to the Eagles offense.
"I’m not limited to that," explained Arcega-Whiteside. "Any route that you give me, I’m going to run and I’m going to do my best to get open."
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound wideout gives quarterback Carson Wentz another big body who is excellent at catching the football at the high point.
"J.J.'s ability to go up and get the ball, his strength, his ability to separate and finish contested catches in the scoring zone," said Eagles Vice President of player personnel Joe Douglas. "He's just a highly-productive guy and really tough, really strong."
So what does the addition of Arcega-Whiteside mean for veteran Nelson Agholor, whose name as come up in trade talks leading up to the draft. Agholor is entering the final year of his contract and is set to make $9.387 million after making just over $1.7 million last season.
"Nelson is an important part of our football team and he's an important part of what we are trying to do," Roseman said. "We're really excited to have him here. He's somebody that has continued to get better and better as a player. For us, having this amount of depth and talent, it’s going to be something that we're going to need during the course of the year."
Arcega-Whiteside joins veterans Alshon Jeffery, DaSean Jackson and Agholor, giving the Eagles some intriguing depth at wide receiver.
"It's a long season. We are hoping to play well into January. We are going to need everyone, and we've seen that the last couple years. Our depth has been a huge part of our success, and so that's our job to make sure we have Coach [Doug Pederson] and his staff the depth to get through a hopefully 19-week season."