When players and coaches step out onto the field for an NFL game, they're doing so with one goal: To win. For them, that doesn't change whether their team is eliminated from the playoffs or not. It's a testament to the competitor's spirit that it often takes to succeed at the highest level. The Arizona Cardinals are the perfect example of that.
Entering their Week 17 matchup against the then-second-seeded Eagles having already been eliminated from the playoffs, the Cardinals came to town with something to prove. Playing to build momentum for the future as well as sheer pride, they did just that; finishing with a 35-3 win.
Even with a win against the Seahawks, the Arizona Cardinals still have many paths to a successful draft
The relatively healthy Cardinals are looking to take that momentum and continue it into the offseason with a win over the Seahawks this Sunday. If they're able to pull out a victory in the season finale, it would drop them all the way down to the seventh overall pick in the upcoming draft – barring a couple of big upsets. Using the PFF Mock Draft Simulator to envision the Cardinals with the seventh pick, here's a closer look at the prospects linked to the Cardinals.
Joe Alt, OT/Notre Dame
Falling to the seventh overall pick in quite a few runs of the mock draft was Notre Dame tackle, Joe Alt. Some major outlets have Alt as the top lineman in this year's draft class and just about everyone who doesn't, has him as the second. It's easy to see why, at 6'8", 322 lbs. he's a massive body for defenders to have to move.
Alt is an outstanding prospect in both pass blocking and run blocking. Edge rushers can never get as close to him as they'd like to because of his unbelievable reach, allowing him to keep the space and react quickly. In the run game, Alt's brute strength shines through as he moves defenders around the field against their will. He's constantly putting players on the ground, and then will quickly look downfield to find the next man to block.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Alt's game is his athleticism. 322 lbs. of muscle isn't supposed to be able to move as quickly or change directions as smoothly as he does, and It makes him lethal in the run game. Being as fast as some linebackers while also stronger than most defensive linemen is an incredibly rare combination that makes him a dominant force on the field. By taking Alt with the seventh overall pick, the Cardinals could get that rock to solidify their offensive line for many years to come.