I've been trying to think of any of the players who have transferred out from Clemson who we really missed or needed after they were gone...
I really don't think we missed Derion Kendrick at all this year. I'd take Booth and Goodrich over him 100%. In coverage, and especially in run support.
Honestly the only one I can think of going back a few years is Pagano at DT.
We were uber talented at DL, but if I recall correctly, we ended up a little thin due to injury issues the year he left. He was a load in the middle. Wouldn't have started early in the year, but after we had some injuries he could have helped. Even so, our issues that year were on the other side of the ball. So that loss didn't really hurt us in the grand scheme of things.
Am I missing anyone who left who would have been a difference maker for us?
Chase would have played a lot this year and might have been the starter after DJ struggled. He did well at App. Other than that we didn't miss anybody, and except for depth, won't miss many in the future.
Booth and Goodrich had good years at the corners, and Simpson was certainly better than Davis.
I'm not sure if we've had a specific player hurt us yet or not. To me the biggest fear for Clemson as it relates to the portal is limiting our depth. Odds are we won't lose starting players to the portal all that often. Losing a starter can certainly happen for various reasons, but won't be the majority of the players we lose.
So maybe the next player to transfer isn't a guy we're currently relying on as maybe he's a 3rd string DL or something. What hurts though is say we have a few injuries there and suddenly that player would've either been starting or at least be getting playing time. It could be the difference in our backup being an a 4 or 5 star playing that had been in the program for 1 or 2 years vs. the backup being a 3 star player or at least a 4 or 5 star true freshman who hasn't had as much time in the program yet. Basically it makes us less deep and depth is something we've used as a major strength during our CFP run.
I think Powell from last season is a good example of how the transfer portal could've made a big difference. Powell had struggled to get playing time during his first few years and I don't think most people would've been surprised to see him transfer prior to last season. He decided to stick it out and ended up being a very important player for us in the 2nd half of last season after we suffered several injuries at WR. I think we would've been in a similar situation at receiver last season as we were this year had Powell no longer been with the program.
We lost 4 or 5 qbs since 2017. This has led to DJ being the first QB to be named starter without ever going through a QB competition since Will Proctor. The losses don’t just impact starting slots. They impact the iron that sharpens the iron.