NFL Draft Notebook: FCS player to watch; Steelers to target RB in 2025 NFL Draft

The Monday edition of NFL Draft Notebook takes a look at an FCS player to watch, why the Steelers will be playing special attention to running backs this year and more.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back
Pittsburgh Steelers running back / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Over the next three months, the Monday edition of NFL Draft Notebook will break down each position in the NFL Draft. Due to us focusing on a single position in those season previews the Monday edition of NFL Draft Notebook will break down the latest news and notes from the previous week.

In this week’s article, we take a look at Tulane's new addition Terrell Allen, why the Steelers will likely add a running back early in the 2025 NFL Draft, and much more.

2025 NFL Draft pass rusher prospect in the transfer portal

One of the top pass rushers in college football entered the transfer portal last week. Tennesse State’s Terrell Allen who won the 2023 Buck Buchanan Award is looking for a new home after leading the FCS with 28 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks last season. In addition to winning the Buck Buchanan Award he was also named to the All-OVC team in 2022 and was on the HERO Sports Sophomore All-American team in 2021.

On Sunday he announced he will be playing at Tulane this season, and NFL Scouts will be keeping a close eye on him for the 2025 NFL Draft. The first positive with Allen that stands out is his elite production. Another positive is his impressive strength. For a linebacker, he holds up well at the line of scrimmage and wins his share of matchups with power including an impressive long-arm move.

His biggest concern is his lack of size coming in at only 6-foot tall. His lack of height and the fact he is 275 pounds makes him a tweener between an NFL linebacker and defensive end. Another concern is that he lacks that elite burst NFL teams want to see out of a shorter defender. 

If Allen is going to get drafted in 2025, he will need another spectacular season at the FBS level, and be one of the top pass rushers in the AAC. He will also need to post strong testing numbers at either the NFL Combine or his pro day. ,

Another defensive lineman transferring

Another defensive lineman in the transfer portal is former Michigan State defensive tackle Derrick Harmon. Last season, at Michigan State he accounted for 40 tackles 3.5 tackles for loss, and one sack. He was rated as a four-start transfer by 247Sports and was the second-best defensive tackle still on the market according to the Athletic.

Michigan State defensive back Derrick Harmon
Derrick Harmon / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

Harmon has decided to move to another Big Ten school choosing to play for the Oregon Ducks next season. He chose Oregon over USC, Colorado, and Ohio State. In the Ducks defense, he will look to help replace Brandon Dorlus who was a fourth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons.

As a pro prospect, Harmon is a bigger defensive tackle coming in at 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds. This size allows him to clog up his share of running lanes and he will be best served by playing as a 1-technique in the NFL. Another positive with him is he shows a good first step off the ball but loses speed quickly after that initial burst. One area he will need to work on next season is his pad level, which negates his power at times. I currently have an undrafted free agent grade on him, but if he has a strong season and declares after the season he could be a day-three pick in the 2025 NFL.

FCS offensive lineman to watch

An offensive lineman who has garnered his share of respect for his opponents according to John Vogel of The Sick Podcast with Draft Vogel is Sacramento State offensive guard Jackson Slater. Slater has been a standout from his first season with the Hornets having started nine games as a true freshman. He then was named to the 2022 and 2023 FCS All-American teams.

One of the traits that scouts will like about Slater is his strong pass-blocking skills. Last season, he played on an offensive line that only gave 16 sacks all year. In 2022 he had a 98.1 pass-blocking efficiency according to Pro Football Focus and only gave two sacks on the year.
One of the reasons he has done so well in this area is his impressive strength, which makes it very hard for defensive tackles to bullrush him.

Overall, I see Slater as a late-round prospect though due to lack of flexibility. He plays with a high pad level and has a hard time breaking down in space. If he can improve in these areas and earns an invite to a game like the East-West Shrine game he could interest a team that runs a gap-blocking scheme as high as the fifth round.

Steelers looking at 2025 NFL Draft running backs

One team that could be looking to add a running back early in the 2025 NFL Draft is the Pittsburgh Steelers. This will likely be a big need for the team next season after the team declined the fifth-year option of Najee Harris. While it is uncertain why the Steelers decided not to pick up the fifth-year option after Harris posted three 1,000-yard seasons, one thing is certain is that if he leaves the team will have a major void to fill.

On their roster currently, the team does have Jaylen Warren behind Harris and he had a strong season last year rushing for 784 yards and averaged 5.3 yards per carry. There is a good chance Warren will become the lead back if the team does move on from Harris, however, he lacks the size to be an everydown back. Due to this look for the Steelers to add a running back within the first three rounds of the 2025 NFL Draft.

One prospect who could be an ideal fit for the Steelers next season in the second round is Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon II. Gordon led the FBS in rushing last season with 1,732 yards and was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. He is also a physical runner, who displays good vision as a runner and this aggressive running style would be a good compliment to Warren.

EA Sports cover athletes

EA Sports came out with their deluxe edition cover for NCAA Football 2025. The six athletes who are also 2025 NFL Draft prospects to make the cover are Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers, Michigan running back Donovan Edwards, Colorado DB/WR Travis Hunter, Georgia quarterback Carson Beck, Ohio State running back Quinshon Judkins, and Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe.

Two of these athletes Carson Beck and Travis Hunter carry first-round grades on my preseason board. While I have a day two grade on Quinn Ewers, and Quinshon Judkins, and day three grades on Donovan Edwards and Jalen Milroe.


I just wanted to send a quick note to my readers about my Twitter account. Please note that my Twitter account was hacked over the NFL Draft weekend, so if you would still like to follow me make sure to follow my new account.