3 most glaring Auburn needs coming out of the transfer portal

According to FanSided college football writer Josh Yourish, the Auburn Tigers didn't properly address these three positions in the offseason.

 Auburn Tigers linebacker Jalen McLeod (35)
Auburn Tigers linebacker Jalen McLeod (35) / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
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The first year under Hugh Freeze didn’t go to plan with a 6-7 record, but the offseason has followed the ideal script. Freeze has addressed nearly every position of weakness on the roster with his nine additions in the transfer portal and freshman class that ranked No. 7 in the country. 

Auburn desperately needed an offensive tackle, so Freeze got Percy Lewis from Mississippi State. Auburn needs help on the defensive line, so Freeze got Trill Carter from Texas and Gage Keys from Kansas. Payton Thorne needs more targets on the outside, so Freeze cleaned out the receiver room to make space for five-star high schoolers Cam Coleman and Perry Thompson. 

It’s been a great offseason for the coaching staff as they head into year two, but it hasn’t been perfect. There are still areas where this roster needs a big upgrade before the Tigers are ready to compete with the top teams in the newly loaded SEC. 

A year ago, the offense ranked 92nd while the defense finished 48th, yet my first two needs are on the defensive side of the ball. The offense could be fixed with just one big change, but Freeze might not be ready to make it. 

3. Safety

The Tigers have lost their top two safeties from last season’s defense, Jaylin Simpson and Zion Puckett, so Freeze went out and got Jerrin Thompson who has started 31 games in his career at Texas and was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection this season. 

Thompson is a true free safety who finished the year with three interceptions and seven pass breakups, but there was a reason that Texas ranked 116th in pass defense. Thompson led the team with 15 missed tackles and on his 18 receptions allowed in coverage, he gave up 116 yards after the catch. 

Tackling is a big problem for Thompson and he won’t provide much help at all in the run game. That means Auburn will need to pair him with a reliable, physical strong safety, and with Simpson and Puckett gone, it will have to be a player without much experience.