For years, the Miami Dolphins filled the running back position with cheap labor and late-round gems. The last rookie running back Miami selected — on day two of the draft— was Alabama’s Kenyan Drake in the third-round back in 2016. Then there was Kalen Ballage, who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. But spending a HIGH draft pick on a game-changing running back has not happened for quite some time. And then, it did…
With the 84th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select…De’Von Achane, running back, Texas A&M
with the 84th pick in the 2023 NFL draft the @miamidolphins select RB devon achane #finsup pic.twitter.com/7bwZ4YrVwP— josh houtz (@houtz) April 29, 2023
That’s right! The Dolphins finally drafted a running back on day two and his name is De’Von Achane (AY-Chain) despite every media outlet and beat writer spelling it Devon and pronouncing his last name wrong for the last few weeks.
“I mean, they’re doing that, so they almost likely call me ‘Devin’ and then I tell them it’s ‘De’Von.’ And then they be like ‘oh…’ And then I tell them how you spell it. And then they be like, ‘okay, I get it now.’”
Miami’s newest running back met with the media for the first time — in a Dolphins uniform — Friday afternoon and spoke about some of the biggest questions surrounding the 5’9 track star, the most obvious being his small frame.
“It gets brought up a lot. Like you said, everybody’s got their opinion on me. I don’t worry about what everybody’s got to say because I know what I can do and what I’m capable of, so my size to me doesn’t matter, but it does get brought up.”
Achane doesn’t see it as a limitation; better yet, he thinks it makes the defense's job that much harder.
“It benefits me a lot. I’m a much smaller back than usual. I’m shorter. O-line is big, so it’s hard for them to see and like you said, it’s hard for them to tackle me as well because big guys, it’s hard to tackle small guys.”
He also said he’s been adding weight this offseason, something he could not do in college.
“I’m actually the heaviest I’ve been right now. I was like 192 when I weighed in this morning. I always knew that I could gain weight. I just didn’t have the full offseason to gain weight because obviously I was doing track. This is my first year not doing track so I actually had the whole offseason to work out and be in football shape. So it kind of helped me with that.”
During his three seasons at Texas A&M, Achane carried the ball 369 times for 2,376 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also caught 65 receptions for 554 yards and five touchdowns. And who could forget his 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Alabama? Here’s what Achane had to say about his skill set and what he can do at the next level.
Remember Devon Achane’s 96-yard kick return touchdown @BarstoolAlabama?pic.twitter.com/L6ErZkcS0N— Barstool College Football Show (@BarstoolCFB) August 30, 2022
“I feel like I can play – I’m great on special teams, I can catch the ball out of the backfield, I have very good hands, I can line up at receiver. So I can do more than just play running back. So I feel like that’s what makes me different.”
Achane’s small size has drawn comparisons to another running back that was similar in build and had #elite speed. But, of course, I’m talking about Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles.
Yeah, I know who he is. He was one of the shorter backs like I am. Great running back. Like you said, all great running backs don’t have to be big, 6’3”, 6’4”. I feel like he’s a great example of that. So I feel like, like I said, everybody talks about my size, but I know what I’m capable of and I’m good at the size that I am right now.”
Time will tell how much of an impact Achane will make as a rookie. After all, the Dolphins running back room is currently stacked with veterans Raheem Mostert — coming off his best season — Jeff Wilson Jr., Myles Gaskin, and Salvon Ahmed. There have also been rumors that the team could acquire Dalvin Cook if the Minnesota Vikings decided to go their separate ways. And yet. Achane’s unique skill set and #elite speed should forge him plenty of opportunities on special teams and as a playmaker in Miami’s backfield.
Run Achane, Run!
What are your thoughts on Miami’s rookie running back De’Von Achane? Do you think he will have a prominent role in 2023? What are the chances the team signs Dalvin Cook if the Vikings release him? Are you drafting Achane in your fantasy football leagues? Let us know in the comments section below!