There were eight wide receivers taken ahead of DK Metcalf in the 2019 NFL Draft. Among them was JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 57th overall pick. Metcalf went to the Seahawks seven picks later at No. 64.
Who knows how this story will end, but the early returns indicate that Philadelphia made a grave mistake passing on Metcalf.
Seattle's rookie wideout has 35 receptions for 595 yards and five touchdowns through 10 games. Meanwhile, Arcega-Whiteside has just three catches for 43 yards and zero scores. And it's not just that Arcega-Whiteside hasn't been productive, it's that he hasn't been able to get on the field. He still doesn't have a solidified role in Philadelphia's offense.
"I think the coaching staff should want to see him more," Eagles insider Dave Zangaro said on the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast. "What they're getting is next-to-nothing production. You can't tell me that he can't be a little better than that."
Zangaro explained that Arcega-Whiteside was supposed to be Alshon Jeffrey's backup. Well, Jeffery sat out the Eagles Week 11 contest against the Patriots with an ankle injury and the rookie still managed just 19 snaps (26%).
Instead it was journeyman wideout Jordan Matthews who assumed a lion's share of the workload in Jeffery's absence with 62 snaps. That's somewhat of a red flag given that Matthews had just rejoined the Eagles that week after being cut by the 49ers earlier in the year. As an Eagles fan, you'd hope that Arcega-Whiteside would be able to earn those reps.
"In Philadelphia, it's really hard to not look at Seattle and see Metcalf; to look in Washington and see (Terry) McLaurin – players who were drafted Arcega-Whiteside who have come in and played immediately and given their teams some really important productions," Zangary said.
What's more alarming is that Zangaro called Arcega-Whiteside a "plodding receiver who does well with contested catches," which isn't helpful for a passing game desperate for explosive plays. Arcega-Whiteside ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at Stanford's pro day. Metcalf ran a 4.31-second 40 at the NFL Combine.
"Speed is the one element they're desperately missing in their offense without DeSean Jackson," Zangaro said.
Philadelphia will get a first-hand look at Metcalf on Sunday when the Seahawks come to town in Week 12. The rookie has 12 receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown over his last two games. He'll look to stay hot against one of the eight teams who decided he wasn't the best receiver in last year's draft.
Listen to the latest episode of Talkin' Seahawks below:
Rapid regret? DK Metcalf can make Eagles rue the day they passed on him originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest