College News & Analysis

10 best college football offensive linemen in the transfer portal

Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars offensive lineman Clark Barrington (56) and offensive lineman Blake Freeland (71) celebrate the victory against the Utah State Aggies at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford center Drake Nugent: The new Michigan Wolverine is the best offensive lineman in the transfer portal after dominating for the Cardinal in 2022.

Western Kentucky offensive tackle Gunner Britton: The redshirt junior is the best offensive tackle available after excelling as a pass protector this year.

Louisville guard Luke Kandra: The new Cincinnati Bearcat is — or was — the top offensive guard in the portal after dominating in pass protection.

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With more than 1,000 college football players in the transfer portal, it can be difficult to parse through all the talent. But PFF's advanced stats for 354 teams ranging from the FBS to Division III aim to do exactly that.

After going over our top 25 players in the transfer portal as well as our All-Transfer Portal team, here are the 10 best offensive linemen searching for new homes.


1. C Drake Nugent (Stanford Cardinal)

Transfer Destination: Michigan Wolverines

Nugent’s 80.2 grade this season ranked seventh best among all centers in college football. In particular, the senior’s 83.7 run-blocking grade was the fourth-best mark in the nation.

Next season, Nugent will play for Michigan. The Wolverines’ last center, Olusegun Oluwatimi, won the Outland Trophy this year as the best interior lineman in college football.

2. OG Clark Barrington (BYU Cougars)

Transfer Destination: Undecided

Over the past two seasons, Barrington’s 85.3 grade ranks seventh among FBS guards. His 87.5 pass-blocking grade in that span is seventh among the same group.

On 843 pass-blocking snaps over the past two years, the redshirt junior has allowed a sack or hit only three times. Due to his dominance in pass protection, Barrington is the 10th-most-valuable guard since 2021, according to PFF’s wins above average metric.

3. OT Gunner Britton (Western Kentucky Hilltoppers)

Transfer Destination: Undecided

Britton recorded an 87.0 pass-blocking grade this season, ranking fifth among all offensive tackles in college football.

The redshirt junior allowed a pressure on only 1.7% of his pass-blocking snaps, the fifth-lowest rate among FBS tackles.  He was the eighth-most-valuable tackle in the nation this year, according to PFF’s wins above average metric.

4. OT Jeremiah Byers (UTEP Miners)

Transfer Destination: Florida State Seminoles

Byers was one of only seven offensive tackles in the country this year with top-20 grades as both a pass protector and a run blocker. 

The redshirt sophomore had nine big-time blocks, which was tied for sixth most among FBS tackles. He also allowed only a 1.9% pressure rate, the eighth-lowest mark in the nation. Byers will play for Florida State next season.

5. OT Dalton Cooper (Texas State Bobcats)

Transfer Destination: Oklahoma State Cowboys

Cooper was a road grader last season. His 90.1 run-blocking grade in 2021 was a top-10 mark among all offensive tackles in the country.

This year, the redshirt sophomore became an elite pass protector. His 85.1 pass-blocking grade was a top-10 figure among FBS tackles. If Cooper can put it all together next season at Oklahoma State, he should be one of the best offensive linemen in the nation.

6. OT Ajani Cornelius (Rhode Island Rams)

Transfer Destination: Undecided

Cornelius is one of the hottest names in the transfer portal right now, with offers from schools such as Ohio State, Tennessee, Oregon and Nebraska.

The sophomore led all FCS offensive tackles with a 91.0 run-blocking grade, while his 89.5 overall grade ranked third best. The former zero-star recruit also gave up only a 1.6% pressure rate, which was the third lowest among FCS tackles.

7. OG Luke Kandra (Louisville Cardinals)

Transfer Destination: Cincinnati Bearcats

Kandra kept his quarterback’s uniform pristine this season. On 155 pass-blocking snaps, he didn’t allow a single sack or hit. The sophomore was one of only 12 Power Five guards with at least 150 pass-blocking snaps to accomplish that feat.

Next year, Kandra will take his talents to Cincinnati for the Bearcats’ first year in the Big 12 conference. 

8. OG Micah Mazzccua (Baylor Bears)

Transfer Destination: Undecided

Mazzccua is an absolute people-mover. His 78.5 run-blocking grade this season stood ninth among Power Five guards. The sophomore’s 14 big-time blocks were tied for second among all guards in the country.

9. OG Javion Cohen (Alabama Crimson Tide)

Transfer Destination: Miami (FL) Hurricanes

Cohen struggled mightily in pass protection last season. His 34 pressures allowed were nine more than any other Power Five guard in 2021.

The junior made a complete 180 this year, though. His 99.1 pass-blocking efficiency score tied for sixth among Power Five guards in 2022. Next season, he’ll take his talents to South Beach and join the Miami (FL) Hurricanes.

10. C Willie Lampkin (Coastal Carolina Chanticleers)

Transfer Destination: North Carolina Tar Heels

Lampkin’s 77.1 grade this season was the third-best mark for a Group of Five center. The junior especially excelled as a run blocker, where his 78.5 grade led the Group of Five and was a top-10 figure among all centers in college football.

Next year, Lampkin will snap the ball to Heisman-hopeful quarterback Drake Maye at North Carolina.

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