5 positions the Oklahoma Sooners should target in the transfer portal




 

Oklahoma's season is down to one last game against the Florida State Seminoles in the Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando, Florida. However, their preparation for Team 129 has already begun.

Numerous players have already entered the transfer portal or declared for the 2023 NFL draft.

Players like left tackle Anton Harrison, running back Eric Gray, defensive tackle Jalen Redmond, and right tackle Wanya Morris were starters on this year's squad and have already declared their intention to go to the NFL. Oklahoma will have to fill those voids for next season. Their replacements may be on the team already, but there's a real possibility they aren't.

The losses have left a hefty amount of bodies missing from the program right now, and while the recruiting class will fill some of them, the Sooners would love to have immediate answers via the transfer portal by guys with collegiate experience.

As Oklahoma looks to retool its roster for 2023, here are a few positions they should look to add talent to via the transfer portal. 

Offensive tackle

 

Sep 24, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Anton Harrison (71) during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Look, it may sound crazy, but Bill Bedenbaugh should be on the phone working the offensive tackles in the portal.

Oklahoma loses both of their starters, Anton Harrison and Wanya Morris, and aside from Tyler Guyton, there are no proven commodities at the position. Guyton himself didn't start many games aside from the two Morris missed early season due to suspension. Guyton played well in spot duty and will likely start for Oklahoma during the Cheez-It Bowl.

The Sooners had true freshmen Jake Taylor and Jacob Sexton as backups this year, and they didn't get nearly enough reps to be viable options yet. It's not to say they won't be good players, but getting some proven commodities would help take a little of the developmental pressure off of them.

Defensive Tackle

 

Oklahoma's Jeffery Johnson (77) celebrates during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the UTEP Miners at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Oklahoma won 45-13. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma is still undergoing a schematic and philosophical change with the makeup of its defensive linemen. They added Jeffery Johnson as a grad transfer from Tulane when the new staff got into place, and Johnson played plenty of effective snaps this season.

Johnson is gone, Jalen Redmond is gone, and the Sooners will return a few guys like Jordan Kelley and Isaiah Coe, who had some shining moments here and there.

Ultimately, this defense works best when you have defensive linemen that can eat space and generate pressure without committing extra rushers. The Sooners are still in search of notable difference-makers up front. They've added Jacob Lacey from Notre Dame, but it would be wise to continue to build depth at the position.

Wide Receiver

 

Nov 26, 2022; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Theo Wease (10) catches a touchdown pass against Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive corner back Malik Dunlap (24) in the second half at Jones AT&T Stadium and Cody Campbell Field. Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

While it's flying under the radar, it's important to note that Oklahoma is losing at least three receivers to the portal. Trevon West, Brian Darby, and Theo Wease have all entered their names into the portal.

The big fish, Marvin Mims, has not decided whether he'll head for the NFL or if he'll return to rehab his NFL draft stock. If you include Mims going to the NFL, that's four receivers the Sooners will lose on the depth chart. Though Mims and Wease are the only ones to provide significant contributions in 2022, losing them requires finding more playmakers at the position.

Linebacker

 

Nov 19, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners linebacker David Ugwoegbu (2) celebrates after a defensive stop against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second quarter at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Sarah Phipps-USA TODAY Sports

There haven't been any portal defections via at linebacker. However, Oklahoma can not be serious about improving the quality of the defense and not take a look at some of the linebackers that have already entered the portal. Competition is great and can only make teams better.

Yes, Stutsman improved, but you can add even more talent to that room. The number one linebacker recruit from the 2020 class, Justin Flowe is available after spending the last two years with Oregon. That's worth a flyer in itself.

Oklahoma has several four-star players that were part of the 2022 class that will make an impact at some point, but will they be ready to take on significant snaps in 2023? Better to have a safety net if Jaren Kanak, Kobie McKinzie, or Kip Lewis aren't ready yet.

Cornerback

 

Oct 29, 2022; Ames, Iowa, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Woodi Washington (0) intercepts the ball over Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Dimitri Stanley (14) during the first quarter in the Big 12 Conference game at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback, like wide receiver, has taken some hits via the portal, with Kendall Dennis and Joshua Eaton both on their way out the door. Former four-star and five-star talents from some of the better defensive schools like Alabama, Clemson, Texas A&M, and Florida have hit the portal.

Will Oklahoma take advantage? They should.

Woodi Washington's status for next season is to be determined as he could leap to the NFL. That leaves Oklahoma with one proven playmaker in veteran C.J. Coldon, should he be awarded a rare seventh year.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire

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