The biggest remaining needs for Mississippi State Football in the transfer portal

Mississippi State football is working to put the finishing touches on its 2024 roster. What pieces do they still need to add?
Mississippi State Spring Football Game
Mississippi State Spring Football Game / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Spring practices wrapped-up for Mississippi State football with the Maroon and White Spring Game back on April 20. New HC Jeff Lebby's foundation for his debut season in Starkville has been laid, and now he and his staff are looking to continue building out the roster for the fall.

State's done a good job overall adding talent through the transfer portal thus far with several impact players joining the fold, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. They just addressed one of their biggest needs by bringing in Utah State-transfer RB Davon Booth.

But there's still some key positions in need of improvement. Here are the biggest remaining needs from the transfer portal for Mississippi State football...

Mississippi State needs at least one more cornerback

Exiting the spring, there's no debate as to what is the biggest weakness on MSU's roster. Cornerback looks like a significant liability for the Bulldogs at this point. Memphis-transfer Traveon Wright seems to have been a solid addition, but the rest of that group leaves a lot to be desired.

State has minimal experience at corner, and what we have seen from this room hasn't exactly inspired much confidence. Perhaps this is a tall ask, but State badly needs to bring another corner to not just provide depth, but start. And truly, they could use two.

They've offered West Virginia-transfer Motre Miller, so we'll see if that goes anywhere.

The Bulldogs need a game-changing edge rusher

After corner, the biggest need on defense and arguably the entire team is at edge rusher. MSU currently has a pretty good Front 7 with solid options to rush off the edge between defensive ends De'Monte Russell and Deonte Anderson and jack linebackers Donterry Russell and Ty Cooper.

The problem is, that group combined for just three total sacks and seven QB hurries in 2023. Those aren't the pass rush numbers you're looking for from your edges, especially when your interior lineman weren't exactly wreaking havoc themselves. And while I tend to think you'll get more out of them this season, MSU really needs to add someone that can be a game-changing pass rusher off the edge.

This is especially true considering their weaknesses on the backend. The best way to help that is with a ferocious pass rush. 4-star Michigan State-transfer Bai Jobe is set to visit the Bulldogs soon. He only saw action in one game as a true freshman in 2023, but he's a coveted prospect that would add major talent to the defense.

MSU could really use another offensive lineman

This one may come as a surprise considering the extensive work State has already done bringing in offensive lineman through the portal. They've added four starter-quality transfers to go along with some talented guys already on the roster.

If the season started today, you could be confident in State running out a good starting OL group. The issue comes down to depth. Right now, State's top six OL are pretty strong and features a few guys that can play multiple spots. But having six quality OL isn't enough for a position that can be more injury-prone than others.

Not to say State would certainly be in massive trouble if they had to go to their reserves, but much of the second-string group consists of guys with little playing experience to this point. If the Bulldogs can bring in a lineman with more extensive experience to serve as a depth piece or, better yet, challenge for a starting role, they'd be in really good shape up front.

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