TRANSFORMING from a WR into a TE. The NFC East has two players attempting this transition in 2022. For the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (JJAW). For the Washington Commanders, it’s Antonio Gandy-Golden (AGG).
Both have been disappointments as WR’s, so they and their teams are hoping a position switch will unleash the potential that got them drafted. The overall odds don’t favor either player, but JJAW is the most likely to succeed at this.
During the offseason, JJAW added 12 pounds of muscle to his frame, going from 225 to 237 pounds. While already being an accomplished blocker from the WR spot, the extra padding will help him when he’s asked to line up as an in-line TE, and block for the run.
AGG was drafted with a 4.6 40-time, and played at 218 pounds last year. He’s somewhere in the area of 230 pounds now, and trying to get to 245. His head coach and teammates say that he just needs to learn how to block. If he gets that down, then he’ll– Wait. What? If he can’t block, then why would they try to move him to… Ugh.
Just goes to show, you can take the Redskin off the helmet, but you can’t take the Washington out of the football team.
JJAW has made his bones as a blocker, and he’s become a key Special Teamer. Those two things say that he’s willing to stick his face in there, and do the dirty work. Perfect! That mentality may just transform a bust at WR, into a match-up problem at TE.
Winning contested balls is what caught the Eagles eye. Combined with his 4.49 40-time, GM Howie Roseman leapt to overdraft JJAW, envisioning him as a red zone headache. Now in 2022, drawing coverage mostly from LB’s and SS’s instead of CB’s, he may actually become one. Especially if he can eliminate the high percentage of phantom incompletions that have plagued him so far.
JJAW and AGG. The tale of two WR’s trying to become TE’s. One seems set up to fail. The other could possibly succeed. Even wildly.
I look forward to watching this unfold.