Transfer Portal Rankings: Top 10 Defensive Tackles Include Walter Nolen, Joey Slackman

    There are over 1500 players in the transfer portal and many will command a strong market. Here are the top transfer portal defensive tackles.

    The transfer portal is growing by the hour and there is plenty of talent available. One of the harder positions to find starter-quality players is defensive tackle, but there are plenty of elite talents available at that position.

    Who’s at the top of the list? Here are the top transfer portal defensive tackles.

    Top Transfer Portal Defensive Tackles

    The CFN Top 10 Players in the Transfer Portal series continues. Find all the previously published positional rankings here: QB | RB | WR | TE | DE | CB | S | K | P

    10) Nick James, Indiana

    One of the many Hoosiers to test the waters of the portal after Tom Allen was fired, James played about 10 snaps a game as a redshirt freshman. He chose the Hoosiers over some other big offers and could have some interest this time as well.

    He’s a bit undersized but slowly earned more playing time as the year progressed. James has played his recruitment close to the vest and there’s still a chance he returns to Bloomington. We’ll see how his recruitment starts to play out as other dominoes fall.

    9) CJ Clark, NC State

    Clark was a high-profile recruit for the Wolfpack and played consistently in his four years in Raleigh, but he failed to make the enormous impact many expected him to make. Still, he’s one of the few experienced nose tackles in the portal and should land at a Power Five school.

    MORE: College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    He’s visited Miami and has offers from Washington, Colorado, and Mississippi State, among others. He could shut down the process after visiting Miami or extend it until the end of December before enrolling in January.

    8) Chris McClellan, Florida

    One of several Florida defensive linemen to enter the portal in early December, McClellan is a sophomore with two years of eligibility and a redshirt year available. He stepped up his game in 2023 and put together a productive season.

    Despite his enormous size, McClellan was mostly a 3-technique in Gainesville. The prevailing thought is that he ultimately ends up closer to home at Oklahoma, though Arkansas and SMU, among others have thrown their hats in the ring.

    7) Jordan Guerad, FIU

    Guerad enters the portal after back-to-back strong seasons with the Golden Panthers. He doesn’t have the sack numbers of some of the other guys on this list, but he creates a lot of pressure and has consistently graded well in the pass-rushing category, per Pro Football Focus.

    Guerad has offers from several Power Five schools and is likely to transfer up to that level. There’s some buzz around South Carolina, but he’s likely to take his time and render a decision closer to the end of December.

    6) Thor Griffith, Harvard

    Griffith was up with Slackman as the top Ivy League interior defender last season, ending his Harvard career with 18 sacks and 87 pressures. He also missed just seven tackles in his whole career.

    Griffith mentioned that he simply wants to play with the best players. He’s likely the most athletic defensive tackle in the portal with a sub-5 40 and the ability to bench 225 pounds 45 times. He has several offers from top programs and will be on the NFL’s radar next season.

    5) Aeneas Peebles, Duke

    After Mike Elko left for Texas A&M, Peebles entered the transfer portal. He was highly productive in four years with the Blue Devils and was one of the best interior pass rushers in the ACC last year.

    Peebles is planning to take his time with visits and will visit SMU, Missouri, Virginia Tech, Penn State, and Louisville in the early part of December. He plays the run and pass well and should fit in with his future team before heading to the draft in 2024.

    4) Derrick Harmon, Michigan State

    Harmon is the top true 1-technique in the portal and will be a hot commodity because of it. At 6’5, 360 pounds, Harmon is one of the biggest defenders in the portal.

    He will visit Auburn and Ohio State and has multiple years of eligibility remaining, giving him a leg up on some of the older players in the portal. Harmon had 20 pressures and 21 run stops last season and was highly productive in three seasons with the Spartans.

    3) Joey Slackman, Pennsylvania

    Since the Ivy League doesn’t allow graduates to play, Slackman was one of the first transfers to hit the portal. He was able to talk with schools immediately in mid-November and quickly amassed a strong offer list.

    He has 15 sacks in his career and has been unblockable for the past two seasons at Penn. Slackman has an official visit on the books to Florida, who could certainly use a big man in the middle.

    2) Marley Cook, Middle Tennessee State

    When Rick Stockstill was fired in late November, Cook announced his intentions to transfer. Since then, the junior with one year of eligibility remaining has received offers from college football’s Blue Bloods.

    Cook announced a final three of Ohio State, Baylor, and Miami and would likely start at any of them. He’s a veteran with over 1,700 college snaps and will be an upgrade for any defensive line unit in the country.

    1) Walter Nolen, Texas A&M

    Anytime you see a former top overall recruit in the portal, there’s likely to be significant interest from teams. Nolen nearly lived up to his billing in his first two seasons, registering 32 pressures and 40 run stops for the Aggies.

    Nolen will have plenty of suitors and it was reported Thursday that Florida State, Michigan, and Alabama, among others, are interested in the 6’4, 290-pound 3-technique. Nolen has some versatility and should fit in any scheme.

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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