Stanford Football: Top prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
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Stanford Cardinal
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /

1. WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

Who seriously saw this coming? If you’re raising your hand, you’re a liar — unless you’re related to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. And in that case, your biases don’t carry much weight in this conversation.

But I digress.

Seriously, I had no idea Arcega-Whiteside would emerge as a potential first-round pick coming into the 2018 season. There was plenty of talent to work with, but he didn’t exactly strike me as a fast riser who was going to flash game-changing abilities all year long. Well, as it turns out, that’s exactly what happened.

Put simply, Arcega-Whiteside has been a superstar for Stanford this year. All you need to do is see his stat line and you’ll understand: 55 receptions, 860 yards and 14 touchdowns. He’s been productive in years past as well, but not to this extent and not while looking so dominant.

It all began in Week 1, when he lit up the San Diego State secondary for 226 yards and three touchdowns with only six catches. Although the numbers haven’t been quite as gaudy since then, we’ve seen plenty to suggest Arcega-Whiteside can continue to thrive at the next level. Rumor has it that NFL scouts tend to agree.

Will Arcega-Whiteside hear his mouthful of a last name called on April 25? It’s possible. A lot of factors will come into play, but strong workouts and Combine figures will help. If a team is looking for a big, physical receiver who can put points on the board, the Stanford product may just entice someone into pulling the trigger on Day 1.

Next. First-round NFL Draft options for 49ers. dark

For now, let’s just say that he’s the Cardinal’s most intriguing NFL Draft prospect.

Projection: 1st-2nd round