Did the Eagles finally figure out how to use JJ Arcega-Whiteside?
Love him or hate him, JJ Arcega-Whiteside remains an Eagle and has carved out a pivotal role as a run blocker downfield at wide receiver rather than a pass catcher. An innovative strategy for the third-year wideout as he received zero targets but ran-block his ass off.
Amongst all offensive players, JJAW’s 93.5 run-blocking grade was 2nd in the entire league, only behind Browns’ two-time All-Pro tackle Jack Conklin. His 93.5 run-blocking grade was even higher than San Francisco’s eight-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams (91.9). The Eagles basically have a premier tackle blocking for them at wideout.
Arcega-Whiteside had eight snaps in a run-blocking role and was in on 50% of the Eagles’ total run blocks. However, JJAW’s eight snaps tied him for the 299th least amount of run-block opportunities, so the grades above are slightly skewed.
All sarcasm aside, the polarizing wide receiver performed his job admirably when called upon, and that’s all you can ask for from a guy like JJAW. Bubble screens and swing passes out of the backfield seem to be notable fixtures in Sirianni’s offense. Maybe the former Stanford Cardinal’s skillset sort of works in this scheme?
However, I’d take a wide receiver who can create separation and actually make plays over a run-blocking specialist any day. But for now, keep doing your thing, JJAW. With the Eagles’ speed at wide receiver, someone has to do the dirty work on the outside, and Arcega-Whiteside’s terrible receiving play over the years secretly positioned himself to fill that role.