Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 225 pounds
School: Stanford Cardinal
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside 2019 NFL Draft Profile
The son of two professional basketball players, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside uses his huge frame like a rebounder operating in the paint with how he is able to box out defenders in the endzone.
It is no surprise, therefore, that he hauled in 14 touchdowns in his final season with the Cardinal and, having finished fourth in a 2014 South Carolina state track meet, brings pro-caliber speed, as well as size, to the table.
While no receiver starts their pro career as the finished product, Arcega-Whiteside enters the draft in need of substantial polish for to him become the dominant receiver his traits give him the potential to be.
Still, with his abilities at the catch point, there is perhaps no wideout in this class with as much touchdown upside as Arcega-Whiteside. If he lands in an offense that can quickly harness it, he should be an immediate scoring threat at the next level.
- a box-out artist who makes the most of the leverage he gains to dominate in contested catch and jump-ball situations;
- can high-point the football with ease;
- has the body control to make acrobatic diving catches;
- has shown some definite promise as a route-runner;
- sinks well into his breaks and gets out of them impressively;
- demonstrates a willingness to vary his stems to create separation, occasionally doing so with jab steps;
- boasts better speed than you would expect for a man of his size and can eat up ground against off coverage and defenders playing bail technique;
- excellent production in 2018 with 1,059 receiving and 14 touchdowns on 63 catches.
- has had consistent issues trapping the ball and letting it into his body, which has led to drop-laden games;
- ran a very basic route tree at Stanford largely based around straight-line downfield routes;
- doesn’t have much of a plan as a route-runner;
- struggles to generate significant downfield separation;
- is not going to be a receiver who can pull away from defenders after the catch;
- Only average agility, which limits his upside after the catch and often renders his moves at top of the route ineffective.
NFL Comparison: Allen Robinson
Teams With Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots
Projection: Third round
Teams struggling in the red zone may be infatuated with Arcega-Whiteside, whose basketball background undoubtedly plays into his ability to dominate in contested-catch situations. There is also a reason for hope he can become more than just a jump-ball specialist, and if a team makes use of his surprising speed and is successful in helping him learn a full route-tree, Arcega-Whiteside could well to develop into an ultra-productive starting receiver at the next level.