Texas A&M Aggies running back Devon Achane is one of the fastest players in the 2023 NFL Draft. While he is also one of the smallest NFL Draft prospects, there is a bright future ahead in the National Football League for Achane.
Achane isn’t on the same level as Bijan Robinson as a draft prospect. However, there is a path to him becoming a starting NFL running back with game-changing traits. In an era when NFL teams are seeking to get younger at running back, choosing rookies over veterans, Achane should have plenty of interest.
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Devon Achane measurements
- Devon Achane height: 5-foot-8
- Devon Achane weight: 188 pounds
- Devon Achane 40 time: 4.32 seconds
Let’s dive into our Devon Achane draft profile, scouting report and NFL projection.
Devon Achane stats and background
Devon Achane arrived at Texas A&M as a four-star recruit in 2020, rated by 247 Sports’ as the fourth-best all-purpose running back. Ranked as the 137th-best player out of high school in 2020, Achane steadily climbed up the Aggies’ depth chart.
Achane backed up Isaiah Spiller in 2020, receiving 48 touches in his freshman season. He would rush for 364 yards during his freshman campaign, averaging 8.5 yards per touch and scoring five total touchdowns. After flashing playmaking ability in 2020, he split carries with Spiller in 2021.
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He became the Aggies’ featured running back in 2022. Achane led the backfield in rushing attempts (196), with no other Texas A&M running back receiving more than 36 carries. While his effectiveness dipped compared to his 2021 campaign, Achane set career-highs in rushing yards, total touchdowns and receptions.
|Devon Achane stats||Rush Yards||YPR||Receptions||Scrimmage Yards||Total TDs|
While the Aggies proved to be a disappointment, Achane was one of the lone bright spots. The Texas native caught the attention of NFL teams throughout his junior season, securing an NFL Combine invite and he is viewed as one of the best running back prospects in the 2023 draft.
Statistics courtesy of College Football Reference, ESPN, and Pro Football Focus
Devon Achane scouting report
As mentioned above, Achane is one of the fastest players in the 2023 NFL Draft. While the 40 time might highlight his straight-line speed, Achane’s overall athleticism is apparent on film. It’s also why he could be one of the most productive NFL rookies in 2023.
Achane’s speed is evident on this 75-yard touchdown run against the North Carolina Tar Heels, but this scamper also shows some of the other things he does well. Even at 5-foot-8, Achane shows tremendous balance through contact. Reminiscent of Alvin Kamara in some ways, Achane is like a cat with his ability to remain on his feet
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Unlike most running backs of his size, NFL coaches should feel more comfortable with Achane running between the tackles. He is a patient runner, willing to wait behind his blocks before turning on that initial burst and making it through a crease.
- Devon Achane stats (Pro Football Focus(: 18 rushes of 15-plus yards, 93.0 Elusive Rating
With the ball in his hands, he moves very well. Achane is capable of making split-second cuts to move out of a linebacker’s vision, slipping through arm tackles and then unleashing that track speed for an explosive play. Even at the next level, Achane is going to win most sprints down the sideline and there is enough juice in his game to sidestep a defender who is in pursuit.
Achane will also be a dependable pass-catching weapon out of the backfield. While he won’t be mistaken for Christian McCaffrey, Achane offers a solid grasp of route-running with hands that enable him to snag most on-target throws.
Obviously, there are limitations to Achane’s game. While he isn’t afraid to take on blockers, linebackers and edge rushers in the NFL will get through the 188-pound running back with no problem. The lack of size also diminishes his potential role in the NFL, likely being taken off the field inside the 10-yard line and in short-yardage situations.
Obviously, landing spot will play a huge role in whether or not Achane is successful and can be the outlier for NFL running backs at his size. As long as he finds the right home and is used as a 1B running back in a good offense, Achane will be a very good NFL player.
- Devon Achane draft grade: 80/100
- Devon Achane draft projection: Round 2
Devon Achane NFL projection
Achane is never going to be among the NFL leaders in touches or carries. At 5-foot-9, his body simply can’t hold up to the workload that featured backs receive. The size also means the NFL team drafting him likely views Achane as a one-contract player.
With that said, Achane can be an impact player in his rookie season. He’ll immediately step in and be one of the fastest players in the NFL. More importantly, though, the skills he brings to the table will help him turn that speed into production and explosive plays.
Achane profiles as a complementary piece to a backfield committee. In his first NFL season, Achane could play the role a slightly similar role to the Tony Pollard served during the 2021 season (169 touches, 1,065 scrimmage yards).
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While he’ll likely receive closer to 100 touches, Achane’s abilities would still allow for him to be very successful and 1,000 scrimmage yards is at least possible depending on where he lands.
We’re not going to make any stylistic or NFL player comparisons to Achane, he’s unique enough of a prospect where there is no perfect comp. However, it’s easy to see him blossoming into a role where he receives 150-200 touches per season and he can be an explosive returner. The NFL team that drafts Achane will have a very specific role for him and he should thrive in that spot.
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