2023 NFL Draft: Alabama CB Eli Ricks Shines In First 2022 Start

Alabama Crimson Tide corner and LSU transfer Eli Ricks had a very good 2022 debut, and is back on the 2023 NFL Draft radar.

One of the biggest storylines in college football last offseason was highly recruited cornerback Eli Ricks transferring away from LSU to Alabama to play under Nick Saban. That move followed a hefty exit of players from LSU after the firing of Ed Orgeron, as LSU looked to reload. Alabama needed the help at corner, and Ricks, with his sky high potential, got to work in a great environment for defensive backs.

The NFL Draft world had their eyes on Ricks too. He appeared in a ton of way too early 2023 mock drafts due to that massive potential. Once the season arrived, everyone was quite surprised that Ricks was buried on the depth chart. He got minimal snaps in the first several weeks of the season due to injury and reported acclimation to the scheme.

After a rough game for the Alabama secondary against Tennessee, Ricks got his chance to start against Mississippi State. He made the most of that opportunity, breaking up four passes his way and helping out to play physical against the run in a very different Mike Leach era on offense.

Ricks’ four PBUs have the draft community’s attention. His patience, length, and quick recovery skills all put together in very good technique have everyone back on the train for Eli Ricks to be a potential first round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The opinions are everywhere as to who should be CB1 in the 2023 NFL Draft class. Some are all the way in on Joey Porter Jr.’s demeanor. Cam Smith has a ton of fans. Kelee Ringo has the size and speed to get the “physical traits bet” label. Christian Gonzalez is rebounding well. Clark Phillips is in the mix too. Don’t rule out Eli Ricks for that spot. He’s earned a starting spot, and there are plenty of big games against big time opponents for Ricks to show he can lock down the best in the country.