6-foot-2, 225 pounds
The lowdown: The jump-ball specialist is a thick-framed, long-armed, second-gear receiver who won’t fly by corners but he can outleap them for big plays downfield. Attacking the ball the same way Charles Barkley went after rebounds, Arcega-Whiteside totaled 28 touchdowns in his 33 career games for the Cardinal and averaged 16.4 yards per catch over his three seasons despite less-than-great speed.
He had foot surgery after the 2018 season, which prevented him from doing anything except the bench press at the NFL scouting combine.
NFL teams believe Arcega-Whiteside would have run in the 4.6- to 4.7-second range, so they have a good feel for what he is and know his game isn’t speed-dependent. So often it was obvious who was getting the ball for Stanford in key situations – third downs, red zone, fourth quarters – and yet Arcega-Whiteside came up with the play his team needed more often than not. He boxes out corners and can push the boundaries of how physical a receiver can get, and yet he also exhibits great body control and ball-tracking ability.
His lack of separation ability off the line is something that’s concerning, and he might not fit the growing trend of putting big receivers in the slot. Arcega-Whiteside can be a little stiff and mechanical in his route running, but there’s a role for a team that doesn’t ask him to try to win battles with his quickness. He’d be a great option for a team such as the Bills, for instance, to go win 50-50 battles with strong-armed (but sometimes inaccurate) QB Josh Allen.
Fun fact: J.J. actually stands for Jose Joaquin, as he’s the Spanish-born son of two former pro basketball players. And J.J. has a little hooping ability, too, earning all-state in basketball in South Carolina, in addition to being terrific at football, and track and field.