Two Alabama players have a legitimate shot at being the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft. If the Chicago Bears hold on to the prestigious selection, they would be wise to select an elite edge rusher like Will Anderson, Jr. or Georgia's Jalen Carter (legal issues notwithstanding). If they trade the pick to a team desperate for a franchise quarterback, Bryce Young and Ohio State's CJ Stroud are the top talents available.

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However, one Alabama defensive back said he thinks he's worth considering at that spot over either of those men, and that's transfer portal grab Eli Ricks.

Ricks provided the hot take when asked by a reporter at the NFL Scouting Combine if he would take Young or Anderson if he were in the Bears' position since he played with both.

"I'm taking Eli Ricks, to be honest," said Ricks in response.

It can be taken as a farcical answer to a silly hypothetical or a display of ego, but neither interpretation should be an issue. It either shows a witty sense of humor, or the sort of inflated ego that the majority of great NFL cornerbacks play the game with.

Ricks had a solid season at cornerback for the Crimson Tide in 2022. After finally getting in the starting rotation following the Tide secondary's disaster in Knoxville, Ricks played superbly.

However, a concussion kept him from having a strong finish to his final collegiate campaign. In his prior two seasons at LSU, the former top-five recruit only played 14 games, but had two pick-sixes, 31 tackles, five total interceptions, and six pass deflections.

Ricks possesses elite length and great man coverage abilities. Part of his delay in reaching the starting lineup in Tuscaloosa was a difficulty adapting to Nick Saban's defensive system, which features a lot of zone coverages. Once he got in there, however, there were very few hiccups.


Ricks is currently dealing with a strained hamstring and will not be working out at the combine, but he plans to put his full talents on display at Alabama's pro day on March 23.

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