Devon Achane - RB - Texas A&M
Welcome to the rookie profile for Devon Achane. Devon Achane is one of the most explosive runners in the 2023 class. His speed and athleticism are elite as is his ability as a pass catcher. Achane could easily find himself as a top 5 running back in this draft class with a solid showing at the combine. He has a unique skill set but doesn’t profile as a true three-down workhorse and his fantasy value will be extremely dependent upon his landing spot and his role in the offense. Achane profiles best in the role of a Nyheim Hines-like pass-catching specialist but not as an early down bruiser.
Height: 5′ 8.5″
Weight: 188 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.32s
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: 33″
Broad Jump: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
*age is at the start of player’s rookie year
Achane was a 4-star recruit coming out of Fort Bend Marshall High School before joining Texas A&M. As a true freshman for Texas A&M in 2020 he was named MVP of the Orange Bowl while totaling 364 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns and chipping in 5 receptions for 97 yards and 1 touchdown.
In 2021 as a sophomore, Achane played in 12 games and racked up 910 rushing yards with 9 touchdowns. He also contributed 9 receptions for 24 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown. His production was largely in a backup role behind Isaiah Spiller.
Achane returned to Texas A&M for his junior year in 2022 and recorded his best season to date. He rushed for 1,102 yards and 8 touchdowns adding in 8 receptions for 36 yards and 3 receiving touchdowns.
Achane is as twitchy and elusive as they come. His burst and speed are at a home run level that is tough to match. Despite Achane not being overly big in size he is able to rush up the middle with some regularity and hits the holes with speed and explosive power.
He is an elite playmaker who also possesses elite receiving skills and is able to come down with contested catches at a level of a far bigger player.
Even if Achane goes to a team that already has a lead running back he still has value. Not only does his skillset allow him to break off long runs at any moment but his abilities as a kick returner will allow him to crack an NFL roster as a rookie even if he doesn’t win the starting running back job in camp.
The main drawback to Devon Achane’s profile is obviously his size. As a running back who checks in at just 5’9” and 185 lbs, he figures to be pigeonholed into a role as a pass-catching back which could potentially limit his ceiling.
He tends to dance behind the line of scrimmage too often and bounces his runs outside the tackles unnecessarily instead of taking what is blocked for him.
The majority of his pass-catching role production came on short sweep routes to the perimeter as he very rarely was targeted elsewhere. Achane runs a very limited route tree and will need to work on running more diverse routes.
Achane is small and as such is often taken down by the first defender, broken tackles are a rarity for Achane and he will struggle to meet a league average level of yards after contact.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Mid-Round 2
Ideal Landing Spot- Miami Dolphins
Achane is a unique blend of elusiveness and speed and a progressive coach like Mike McDaniel may be the perfect coach to use his skill set to its maximum potential. Both of Miami’s starting running backs from 2022 (Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson) are scheduled to be free agents, providing a prime opportunity for Achane to produce as a rookie.
Even if one of the two free agent backs resigned, Achane can still be used creatively by McDaniel in tandem with the experienced veteran. And with Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill drawing the attention of the defence, Achane should find more than enough space to be electric and produce home run plays.
Post Draft Analysis
Miami Dolphins – Round 3, Pick 84
Devon Achane must have had a four-leaf clover in his pocket at the NFL Draft because he landed in the perfect situation. Not only did he secure day two draft capital but he did it by landing with the Miami Dolphins. Achane is a running back with blazing speed who operates best on the perimeter in a zone run scheme, the Dolphins have copied the 49er’s zone run scheme for the most part and run the exact offence that Achane needed to thrive.
He is a younger and faster version of Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert and when one or both of them goes down to eventual injury, he will excel in this offense. I can not think of a player in this draft class that fits better into his team’s offensive scheme than Achane, this is a dream fit.
In redraft let’s not go too crazy. Despite everything I said above, he still figures to start the season as number three on the depth chart. Draft him as you would typically draft a 49ers backup, you know he is going to get his chance eventually, and when he does, he will explode but don’t draft him expecting him to be the starter from week one.
Should one or both of the veterans in front of him go down, Achane would immediately skyrocket up draft boards and if given the starting job would easily find himself inside the top four or five rounds.
My dynasty outlook is not nearly as optimistic for Achane. I see the talent and the opportunity but I have my concerns. Not only is Achane on the smaller side of the running back spectrum but he is going into an offensive scheme that is notorious for burning through running backs like they are disposable.
If he manages to win the job in his rookie year and become a highly sought-after fantasy asset I would be using him for the 2023 season and attempting to sell sky-high in the off-season, I simply worry that the Dolphin’s offence is going to grind him right into the ground and his limited frame is going to break down quickly if he gets his chance to play.