J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is done playing wide receiver for the Eagles. But that doesn't mean he's done playing, period. After three years without much production as a pass-catcher, the former second-round draft pick is converting to tight end for the 2022 season, as The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this week.
The Eagles will list the former Stanford wideout as a tight end when they open their offseason program on Monday, per Jeff McLane, and Arcega-Whiteside "has embraced the move to a new position," adding weight for the role over the winter. Last listed at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, he was deployed almost exclusively as a blocker late in the 2021 season.
When the Eagles drafted Arcega-Whiteside 57th overall in 2019, they envisioned him as a physical possession target in the mold of former starter Alshon Jeffery. Drops plagued the receiver as a rookie, however, when he totaled just 10 catches for 169 yards despite making five starts, and his usage declined the following year, when he was active for just eight games. New coach Nick Sirianni utilized Arcega-Whiteside more in 2021, albeit mostly as a run-blocker and on special teams.
The move to tight end should increase the veteran's chances of remaining on the team in 2022. The Eagles don't necessarily have a proven backup behind Dallas Goedert, who will enter his first year as the lone No. 1 following Zach Ertz's departure. Veteran reserves Richard Rodgers, Jack Stoll, Noah Togiai and converted quarterback Tyree Jackson are also set to compete for roles.
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