In the new age of college football, rushing the passer has become even more important for defenses. Teams that didn’t have decent edge talent before can look in the transfer portal to help. This year provides several talented players who can help immediately, as highlighted by these transfer portal rankings.
Top Transfer Portal Edges for 2024
10) Nic Scourton, Texas A&M
He has freakish athleticism on the edge, which helped him produce 15.0 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks. Texas A&M lost a ton of talent on the defensive line, and new HC Mike Elko immediately addressed that concern.
9) Fadil Diggs, Syracuse
One of those Texas A&M transfers that hit the transfer portal made an interesting decision for his new school. Fadil Diggs posted career numbers in both tackles for loss (11.0) and sacks (4.0), and now he joins Fran Brown at Syracuse.
The Orange produced some good defensive players under Dino Babers, but the program expects former Georgia defensive back coach Brown to create even more with Diggs.
8) Caiden Woullard, Oklahoma
Any player going from the MAC to the SEC is in for some bumps in the road, but seeing how Caiden Woullard competes at the next level will be fun. He produced 41 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks last year. He joins an Oklahoma Sooners defense that needs a strong showing in 2024.
Woullard’s raw talent got him through the MAC competition at times, but he’ll have to make sure he refines his game to win consistently in the SEC. At 6’5″ and 240 pounds, he brings the right frame to compete, and head coach Brent Venables’ staff just needs to figure out how to elevate his game even more.
7) Jack Kelly, BYU
A relatively unknown player coming out of high school, Jack Kelly made the most of his opportunity at Weber State. He produced 20 tackles for a loss and 16.5 sacks with the Wildcats, and his explosive skill set caught the attention of multiple Power Five programs. The BYU Cougars‘ defense needs a difference-maker on the edge, and Kelly gives them that.
6) Princely Umanmielen, Ole Miss
Lane Kiffin retooled his defensive line through the transfer portal, and this all-star lineup should make an immediate impact. Princely Umanmielen was already an All-SEC talent with his 11.5 tackles for a loss and 7.0 sacks last year, but now he’s helping the Ole Miss Rebels try to make the expanded playoff.
5) Tyler Baron, Ole Miss
Tennessee will wish they did more to keep Tyler Baron around, but that’s the nature of the game when a star player has a big year. Baron was already a star on the Tennessee defense but took his game to another level in 2023. He accounted for 10.5 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks this past year, adding a productive playmaker to a loaded Ole Miss defensive line.
4) Trey Moore, Texas
After a huge year in 2022, Trey Moore found a way to be even more disruptive in 2023. The UTSA star somehow became even more explosive for the Roadrunners, and now he’s looking to prove he can hang in the SEC.
He’s an explosive player on the edge, and his quickness makes him a problem for any tackle trying to block him. He also has good power that he mixes in, and he should elevate an already talented Longhorns defensive line.
3) LT Overton, Alabama
We’ll see what happens with LT Overton and other Alabama players now that Nick Saban has retired, but the Crimson Tide shouldn’t fall off quickly. Overton was one of the many Texas A&M players to hit the transfer portal, and he joins another talented team with the Tide.
Who knows what Alabama will look like in 2024, but they do have plenty of talent on the roster for now. Overton will be a big-time player for a line full of young and promising talent, and the expectation remains a national title run — even with a new coach.
2) RJ Oben, Notre Dame
Head coach Marcus Freeman and his staff lost quite a bit of talent this offseason, but they did a good job filling some key holes on both sides of the ball. Notre Dame returns plenty of talent on the defensive line, but they also added players from the transfer portal to elevate that group.
RJ Oben flew under the radar at Duke, but it was a Blue Devils defense that exceeded expectations. At 6’4″ and 255 pounds, he brings a good frame to the Fighting Irish defense, and he should see his production increase after producing 18.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks in his five years at Duke.
1) Mikail Kamara, Indiana
James Madison star Jalen Green stole the spotlight early in the year, but a season-ending injury thrust guys like Mikail Kamara into the spotlight. Kamara thrived in his new role, with 18.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, and he used that to follow HC Curt Cignetti to Indiana. He’ll face a tougher challenge in 2024 but has the foundation to succeed with the Hoosiers.
Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!