After drafting a talented cornerback in Cam Smith earlier in the evening, Miami used its third-round pick to select Texas A&M's Devon Achane, a dynamic running back with elite speed.
At No. 84 overall, Achane is the first Dolphins running back selected in the third round or earlier since running back Kenyan Drake was a third-round selection (73rd overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Achane becomes the 11th Aggie to be drafted by Miami and first since quarterback Ryan Tannehill was taken eighth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. It also marks the first time the Dolphins have drafted a running back from Texas A&M.
The Missouri City, Texas native finished his career in College Station with 2,376 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. He also added 554 receiving yards and five touchdowns as well as two kickoff returns for a score.
Here are five things to know about the Dolphins new running back, Devon Achane:
1. Two-Sport Sensation
Achane excelled on the football field and on the track at Thurgood Marshall High School in Missouri City, Texas. He helped the Buffaloes win two state championships in track and make two state championship game appearances in football.
As his high school track coach, Lloyd Banks said, “I always tell people, when it comes down to the greatest (athletes) in Texas history, he’s up there.”
Achane was named the 2020 Gatorade Texas Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year and led the Buffalos' 4x100m relay to a 40.40 in 2020, which ranked as the nation's fastest time among prep outdoor competitors that season.
Achane's success on the track continued at Texas A&M where he garnered two SEC Freshman of the Week honors, and was named 2021 first-team All-American in the 4x100m - 39.13 (7th), 2021 second-team All-American in the 100m - 10.22 (11th) and 2021 second-team All-American in the 200m - 20.73 (14th)
2. Bursting Onto the Scene
After amassing 461 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns as a true freshman, Achane recorded four 100-yard rushing games and two more with at least 100 all-purpose yards during his sophomore season in 2021. According to the NFL's Chad Reuter, Achane led the FBS with 7.0 yards per carry that season.
Achane also put the college football world on notice with his return skills, taking a kickoff 96 yards to the house to help defeat the then-undefeated top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, 41-38.
Achane then followed up his 1000-plus all-purpose yard sophomore campaign with 1102 yards rushing and 196 yards receiving in 2022. He also tallied 12 total touchdowns en route to being named a 2022 All-SEC first-team running back and 2022 All-SEC first-team all-purpose player.
3. Speed, Speed and More Speed
In 2021, Miami selected wide receiver Jaylen Waddle with the sixth overall pick. In 2022, the Dolphins traded for wide receiver Tyreek Hill and added running back Raheem Mostert. Now the team has added Achane, who scored the fastest 40-yard dash of any running back and third-fastest overall (4.32) at the 2023 NFL Combine.
Media members and current Dolphins players promptly reacted to the Dolphins' decision to add more speed to the team's already lethal toolbox of offensive weapons.
4. Putting On a Show in South Florida
The upcoming 2023 NFL season won't be the first-time fans get to witness Achane's blistering speed inside Hard Rock Stadium. Back on January 2, 2021, Achane's Aggies faced off against the University of North Carolina in the 87th Capital One Orange Bowl.
With the game tied at 27 apiece late in the fourth quarter, Achane took over. A 76-yard touchdown run put Texas A&M up 34-27 with 3:44 to play.
Achane then powered his way into the end zone from one-yard out with 94 seconds left on the clock to seal a 41-27 victory for the Aggies.
He finished with 12 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns and added two receptions for 24 yards. The performance earned the then-true freshman Achane the Most Outstanding Player award from the Orange Bowl.
5. Familiar with the Fins
One of the many challenges for rookies entering the NFL is the adjustment to professional locker rooms. Luckily for Achane, he's got a new teammate ready to make sure the adjustment goes smoothly.
"Me and Jaylen Waddle, we're really good friends," he said. Asked how they met, Achane said the two played for the same AAU basketball team growing up in Houston, Texas.
On Achane's pre-draft visit, that comfort extended to the front office and coaching staff as well.
"I feel like me being there and the visit that I took and the interactions with the coaches were great as well. So I just feel like I was able to be myself and I was very, very comfortable."