Philadelphia Eagles News

JJ Arcega-Whiteside is much more than a big receiver

Shortly after being selected with the 57th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside already received text messages from new teammates Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz. Arcega-Whiteside and Wentz share the same agent, while Ertz is a fellow Stanford alumnus and has met the 6-2, 225-pound wide receiver during offseason workouts.

If that wasn't enough, Arcega-Whiteside models his game after another dominant wideout known for winning contested-catch balls in Alshon Jeffery.

"I grew up watching him. He competes for the ball. He's a great competitor out there on the field. I know that's kind of cliché even though I'm going to be on his team, but he's a great guy to look after."

Arcega-Whiteside earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors after catching 63 passes for 1,059 yards. He also had 14 touchdown receptions to tie a school record. The Biletnikoff Award semifinalist finished his Cardinal career with 135 receptions for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns.

"I would love to catch every ball thrown at me. I would love to have the ball in my hands on every play. But I would way rather be a winning team member and help the team win no matter what," he said.

The son of Joaquin Arcega and Valorie Whiteside, who played professional basketball overseas, Arcega-Whiteside earned a reputation for utilizing his massive frame to box out defenders like on the hardwood. However, he was used all over the formation at Stanford and is more than just a big body on the field.

"Basketball and all of that helps, but you have to make it translate to football. I think people sleep on my speed. When I ran the 4.4 at my Pro Day, I think that kind of went out the window a little bit," Arcega-Whiteside said. "At the same time, that's not really my game. I like to play under control, give the quarterback a great position to throw the ball."

Arcega-Whiteside comes to Philadelphia with Jeffery and Ertz established along with DeSean Jackson on the outside opposite of Jeffery and Nelson Agholor in the slot. He'll have time to learn and grow and develop a rapport with his new quarterback.

"It almost seems like he always makes the right read," Arcega-Whiteside said of Wentz. "A guy like him to bring me in and teach me the ins and out of the offense knowing that he's going to put the ball on the money every single time. It gives me great confidence."

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