The Eagles made a surprise pick at No. 57, snagging the 6-foot-2, 225 receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside out of Stanford.
He couldn’t help but break down in tears when he got the call from Philadelphia, saying it hit him all at once, “Man, I’m going to be an Eagle.” Arcega-Whiteside said that he was so excited about joining an organization that does it right, and knows how to win games.
Here’s what the newest Eagle wide receiver had to say in his first meeting with the media:
On his familiarity with the Eagles
J.J. talked a lot about he’s very familiar with Carson Wentz and his game, both at the college and NFL levels. NDSU prospect Easton Stick is at the same agency as Arcega-Whiteside and they would often study Wentz’s tape because he’s a great example of doing things right. Plus, the Eagles quarterback has been “tearing it up” in the NFL too.
The wide receiver also has a good relationship with Zach Ertz, with both hailing from Stanford. J.J. said that they linked up about a month ago, and Ertz is someone he’s seen every offseason the past few years at the facility.
Ertz isn’t in Philly at the moment, but wants to get together and catch up as soon as he’s back. And, J.J. said he’ll probably reach out by phone in the next day or two to catch up and get some advice about making the transition to Philly.
Arcega-Whiteside is coming in to a very comfortable situation and will have a lot of friends the first day in the locker room. Regarding his connections to the wide receiver room, he has the same agent as Mack Hollins and have hung out a bunch, and he and Nelson Agholor have the same trainer and worked out together before, as well.
He’s excited about having that comfort level with all the familiar faces when he joins the team this offseason.
J.J. was a team captain at Stanford but he acknowledged that it took time for him to establish that respect among his teammates and knows that he’s coming in as the new guy in Philadelphia. He hasn’t played a down of NFL football yet, and is excited about the leaders and captains for the Eagles that he has to learn from and look up to.
On choosing football over basketball
Both of his parents were professional basketball players, but they told him they didn’t care what he did in life as long as it was something he loved, so he didn’t feel any pressure to follow in their footsteps.
He decided on football over basketball during his sophomore/junior year of high school when he started getting college offers. He said there was no better feeling than scoring touchdowns, and he knew that basketball wouldn’t give him that same kind of happiness.
J.J. said that he chose Stanford over other colleges because it was the best combination of sports and academics, and even met Condoleezza Rice during his visit and even ended up interning for her last year. He even got to meet some ambassadors and other important people, so the contacts were incredible.
He was asked a lot about Rice and the type of work he did for her, and her interests in sports. J.J. said that he has no doubt whatever Rice wants to do, whether it’s coach football, be the MLB commissioner, or stay in politics, she’ll be successful and impressive.