3 positions of need Auburn football should target in the transfer portal

AUBURN — The transfer portal can be a really good or a really bad thing for a program, or it could be both. It all depends on how adept the coaching staff is at recruiting players out of it.

Auburn football will try to make it a really good thing over the next couple of weeks.

The spring window opened Tuesday, allowing players to test the transfer waters. It's to be determined how many players the Tigers will lose, and how many they'll pick up and add before fall camp starts up in August.

However it shakes out, here are three positions of need we expect Auburn to chase in the portal:

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Defensive line

This seems to be priority No. 1 for the Tigers, and rightfully so. Auburn has nine scholarship defensive linemen on the roster, and four of them have less than 30 career tackles. There are some players who look primed to step up — Bobby Jamison-Travis has seemed to improve, and Kansas transfer Gage Keys may see an increased role than he did with the Jayhawks.

But bringing in some more talent along the line can't hurt.

To the current iteration of the defensive line's credit, it seemed to have a good performance at A-Day: "I haven't watched the film, obviously, but I felt like they won the line of scrimmage," Freeze said of the unit April 6. "That's very positive. I like the guys and the effort they're giving over there, I do. I just don't think you can ever have enough of them."

Pass rusher

Jalen McLeod may be the most talented defensive player on Auburn's roster, but the depth chart behind him is a little bit murky.

It's no fault of the reserves themselves. They're young. With redshirt freshman Brenton Williams entering the portal Tuesday, the only players set to backup McLeod are true freshmen: Amaris Williams, Jamonta Waller and Joe Phillips. That's an impressive collection of talent, but relying heavily on inexperienced players to get after the quarterback isn't a winning formula.

Even if it's not someone with a bunch of production, Auburn could use a veteran pass rusher. Think back to Elijah McAllister, who transferred to Auburn last offseason for his final year of eligibility after playing for five seasons at Vanderbilt. He contributed 28 tackles and two sacks in 2023.

Wide receiver

A similar thing could be said about Auburn's wide receivers. The talent is undeniable, but the 10-man unit is made up of four true freshmen and two transfers who have yet to play in the SEC. The rest of the group has combined for 128 catches with 1,398 yards and five touchdowns.

Carrying around 10 scholarship receivers is normal, but perhaps Auburn could go out and land someone from another big-time conference that has some more experience. Five-star freshman Cam Coleman is going to have to perform for the offense to work to the best of its ability, but putting that much pressure on a freshman is a risk, no matter how good he looks in practice.

Richard Silva is the Auburn athletics beat writer for the Montgomery Advertiser. He can be reached via email at or on X, formerly known as Twitter, @rich_silva18.

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Auburn football transfer portal: Positions of need for the Tigers