For years, the Miami Dolphins fanbase has patiently waited for general manager Chris Grier to select a running back early in the draft. It never happened. But now, with the blessing of head coach Mike McDaniel, and the perfect storm, the moment has finally arrived.
On Friday night, with pick #84 in the 2023 NFL Draft and a ton of solid players still left on the board, the Dolphins did the unthinkable — they drafted a young playmaking running back early in the draft.
General Manager Chris Grier and Head Coach Mike McDaniel spoke to the media about their decision to take Achane. And McDaniel, specifically, could not hold in his excitement. Here’s what Miami’s head coach had to say about Achane and his #elite speed.
“Speed we generally like around here. But I think it’s more of you feel like there’s a fit in terms of a guy fitting within your existing team. You’re always keeping in mind that you’re adding players to the team and really think that the running back room for us is very important. You find a person and player that fits your skill set that you like but also that fits within the room because we have some other good competition in there as well. So we’re really excited to add a player to a group. And he is fast. Chris and I share that – we do have affection for that trait.”
Grier was then asked what he liked about the Texas A&M speedster that made him go against the grain and take a running back early — for the first time since Kenyan Drake in 2016. Here’s what Miami’s GM said:
“This is probably about two years we’ve watched him. We talked about him last year a little bit with some of the flashes you saw out of him. Then just watching him this year and getting to know him, we brought him in on a 30-visit and spent some time with him and got to know him as a person. We watched film and probably about two or three weeks ago, Mike was convicted in his love for the player. We all were, but he was very effusive.”
McDaniel admitted he really wanted Achane and joked that he was impressed he was able to keep it a secret for so long. “I’m very proud of myself for being a good secret keeper. I just talk to myself a lot in my car because I had to tell somebody about it. (laughter)”
Mike McDaniel was fired up for the Devon Achane pick pic.twitter.com/TNUHzopMFs— josh houtz (@houtz) April 29, 2023
Later on, the Dolphins' newest running back had his chance to speak with the media and give his thoughts on Mike McDaniel’s offense now that they added another playmaker with world-class speed.
“It’s going to be a real scary offense. Like you said, we’re all pretty fast. I feel like it’s going to be very competitive at practice, and like you said, Coach McDaniel – when I had that talk with him, he was saying that he planned on building the fastest team in the NFL. So by adding me to that piece, that’s something that’s, like that’s a guarantee. So it’s going to be real fun and competitive at practice. I just can’t wait to get there.”
“I wouldn’t say I thought I was wishing this, but like I said, when I played at the Hard Rock Stadium for the first time, I was voted MVP, So hopefully, I can keep that going. And I’m just happy and blessed that I’m able to come out there in Miami and just be down there.
Achane continued: “I’m just happy that I’m in his offense – Coach McDaniel’s offense. He’s a great coach and I feel like with my ability, he knows what to do with it.”
Lastly, he was asked about his ability to run between the tackles, something Achane said he would be more than comfortable doing.
“Yes, sir. I feel like I can run between the tackles, outside. Like when I was at A&M, I feel like most of my runs were in between the tackles. Everybody sees me as the fastest guy, so they think he just wants to run outside, but most of my runs and my touchdowns were in between the tackles so I feel like I can run anywhere. If the ball is in my hands, I feel like I’m capable to do great things with it and me running in between the tackles is not a problem that I have.”
But what was most important is that Achane was able to enjoy his big night with his friends and family. A moment he will never forget.
“I was very excited when I had my name called. I have friends and a big family that’s supporting me right now, and I was thankful to be able to achieve my dreams. For me to have my family and friends behind me, I obviously was very excited in the moment. I’m just thankful that I was able to make my mom proud.”
What are your thoughts on the Dolphisn selecting Devon Achane at 84 overall? How do you see him fitting in Mike McDaniel’s offense? Are you happy with the two picks Miami made on day two of the NFL Draft? What players do you hope Miami targets on day three? Let us know in the comments section below!