With the NFL draft now a week away (fist bump), let's kick things up a notch by looking at five prospects that have been most frequently connected to the Philadelphia Eagles at pick No. 32 through the pre-draft process and mock-draft season:
RB Derrius Guice, LSU
This is by far the player most often projected to the Eagles at the 32 spot. Here's what we know: They've been all over him. Team reps went to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, last week to break bread with Guice and put him through a workout; they then had him in for an official visit over the past few days. He has fans inside the building both on the personnel and coaching sides. Running backs coach/assistant head coach Duce Staley is said to be a "big supporter" of Guice. The Eagles are in the market for a back and like the power element of Guice's game. It seems less a question of whether they're interested and more about whether he'll be available when they're on the clock.
S Justin Reid, Stanford
The Eagles have two good safeties in Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod but need to start thinking about the future of that position and could use some depth. Reid is the type of safety defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz gravitates toward: versatile, cerebral, tough. The Eagles had Reid in for a visit in April. Whether it's Reid or someone in the later rounds, they'll be on the lookout for safety help during this draft.
CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville
The Super Bowl champs don't have many glaring needs, but they do have to find a replacement for slot cornerback Patrick Robinson, who left for the New Orleans Saints in free agency. That help could come internally -- coach Doug Pederson named Jalen Mills as a candidate for the role recently (the second person he mentioned, Daryl Worley, was released on Sunday following his arrest near the team facilities) -- or the Eagles could look outside the building for assistance. Some project Alexander as a nickel corner at this level. He also has had some success as a punt returner -- another area that could use help. Alexander was in town on Monday meeting with the Eagles.
TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
There's something about the Eagles, the first round and a Dakota prospect that has a familiar ring. Carson Wentz and Goedert are actually represented by the same agency. In fact, Goedert flew onto their radar when the Eagles were scouting Wentz at North Dakota State. He's now a widely known prospect who might be the first tight end off the board. The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder averaged 82 catches, 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns over his past two seasons with the Jackrabbits. He compiled a highlight reel along the way, filled with one-handed grabs, broken tackles and long touchdown streaks down the sideline. The Eagles parted with veteran tight ends Brent Celek and Trey Burton this offseason, and they will be looking to refuel at the position, even with the addition of former Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers. Interestingly enough, a comp used for Goedert is current Eagles standout Zach Ertz.
RB Sony Michel, Georgia
This one has been picking up some late steam. A two-year team captain, Michel split carries with Nick Chubb and still managed to rush for 1,227 yards (7.9 average) and 16 touchdowns this past season. He possesses the type of size (5-foot-11, 215 pounds) and strength the Eagles seem to be drawn to of late, while also bringing a big-play element to the table. Currently without a second- and third-rounder in this draft, and six picks overall, it's possible they try to trade back into the second round to add to their stockpile. The top of the second round seems like a perfect spot for Michel to come off the board.