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2023 Rookie Profile: Devon Achane, RB

In a very intriguing running back class, we have backs of all shapes and sizes. What does @timbmartens think about one of the smaller, yet more electric backs in this class? Could he be a difference maker for dynasty owners?

Unless you have not been paying attention to the pre-draft chatter, you likely have heard the name Devon Achane by now. But what do you know about the former Aggie running back? Can he be one of the next big names in the NFL? And when do we see Achane making an impact at the next level? Time to break it all down in this rookie profile. 


  • College: Texas A&M 
  • Height: 5′ 8 ½”  
  • Weight: 188 lbs 
  • Hand Size: 8 ½ ” 
  • Age: 21 
  • Year: Junior 
  • Draft Projection: Second Round 
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.32 

High School 

Achane was a football and track star when attending Thurgood Marshall High School in Missouri City, Texas (home of former NFL pro-RB Knile Davis). As a dual-athlete, Achane racked up over 2,000 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns in his high school football career while also being named the 2020 Texas Gatorade Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Achane’s speed has been a part of his game from early on.

Achane was a four-star recruit listed as the eighth-best recruit in the 2020 class out of Texas, according to 247Sports. Achane received offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, and North Carolina before ultimately accepting an offer from Texas A&M.  


Achane played in 20 games in his first two seasons at Texas A&M. He served in the backup role behind (eventual Los Angeles Chargers 2021 fourth-round pick) Isaiah Spiller. Achane could still tally 16 total touchdowns in those first two seasons, including two receiving touchdowns and a kick return TD.  

When Achane returned in 2022 for his junior year, he was the lead man in the backfield. He started all ten games he played his junior year and racked up 1,298 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns. He also added another kick return touchdown, and his total of 12 touchdowns was tied for the fourth most in the SEC.

Credit: Sports-Reference

Achane showed his ability to be a weapon in many aspects of the game while at A&M. His rushing ability was paired up with work in the passing game and special teams. He was an all-around weapon for the Aggies and someone opposing defenses needed to account for.  

After a great Junior season, Achane opted to forego a fourth year in College Station and declare for the NFL draft.  



Achane will be coming into the NFL with some of the best big-play abilities of any player in this draft. His 4.32 40-yard time is undeniable. And when you watch Achane’s highlights, he is blazing in the open field. 

While Achance is fast, he also couples this with elusiveness and good field vision. He can turn a standard big play into a home run. This, of course, is also evidenced by having multiple kick return touchdowns while at A&M.  

We have seen fast players in the NFL before, but being versatile and having good vision sets Achane apart. He can hit a hole quickly and find extra gaps a bigger back may not be able to see.

Pass-Catching Ability 

If you are in a PPR league (especially full-PPR), Achane is one of the most intriguing running backs in this draft. Throughout college, he showed an ability to make the catch in the open field and make defenses pay if he got open space.  

Achane has soft hands and uses them to catch instead of catching with his body. With his shifty running style, he can be dangerous for any linebacker to cover on receiving routes and poses a threat to defensive coordinators. He is elusive and finds space in even the smallest gap, which will help him rack up the YAC. 

Achane also does an excellent job of setting up his blockers in front of him and getting defenders to commit at bad angles. It is hard to get good contact on Achane when going for the tackle, and he often uses this to his advantage.

Contact Balance 

While Achane is a bit undersized, he does not go down easy on the field. He shows a knack for getting yards after contact. His smaller frame, while a disadvantage in taking on defenders head-on, is hard to wrap up when he has space to maneuver.  

While I never expect Achane to be moving piles when dialed up for a running back dive, he finds ways to add more yards than the standard back when he has the ball in his hands. This adds to his big play ability and why he can give owners those coveted huge moments where his score jumps 10+ points on one play.  



Initially, I was going to title this part of the profile “Areas to Improve.” However, there aren’t many ways Achane can improve this weakness. 

Achane is undersized. There is no getting around that. While undersized backs have succeeded at the next level before, the rate of success is much lower. With his build, Achane will likely never see anywhere close to a bell-cow opportunity. He is much more likely to be a change-of-pace/third-down receiving back.  

This small size contributes to him not having much success in short-yardage/goal-line. Taking away these goal-line opportunities is a big impact on his fantasy value, as his +6 touchdown plays will need to come from farther out.

Pass-Blocking and Opportunity 

Buying into Achane stock will be more exciting in best-ball style formats than true dynasty leagues. There will be weeks where Achane hardly scores due to his height and weight limiting his snap count. Finding the right week to start him, even in the FLEX, may be difficult. 

On top of this, when looking at his tape, Achane is not a strong pass-blocker. While his ability to catch and make big plays off receptions is exciting, his opportunity may be cut down even more if his NFL team can’t trust him to protect the quarterback.  

While Achane can work on his blocking, his small size will limit his ability to take on massive edge rushers and linebackers in passing-down situations. And if he can’t improve that blocking, his time in the field will likely be limited.



Achane is a prospect that is a little hard to predict where he will go in the NFL draft. While his smaller frame could have him slide, offensive coordinators and offensive-minded head coaches across the league will value his skill set.  

Achane is projected to be a late-second/early-third-round pick, but that could fluctuate a bit on night two of the draft. But I would be surprised if he fell much later than the mid-fourth round. He is still one of the best talents at the position in this draft. 

Depending on his health, I can easily see Achane being a productive member of any NFL team for five-to-six seasons. He will give an added boost in special teams and is a weapon on offense that must be accounted for. His ability to create these mismatches, alone, is a reason for him to be rostered by NFL teams. 


From a dynasty perspective, Achane falls directly in the “boom or bust” category in most games he plays. Due to this, I can’t see Achane’s ceiling being much higher than a mid-RB2. He will likely see time on dynasty rosters in the FLEX position than in a committed RB role.  

The name that keeps popping into my head when I see Achane’s skillset is Tarik Cohen. While injuries cut his career short, the fourth-rounder in the 2017 draft had two good years to start his NFL career. This led to him finishing as the RB13 (0.5 PPR) in his second year (2018), primarily due to receiving stats.  

If Achane is going to have dynasty success, this is the route I see it happening in. With his smaller frame, he does not have a high upside as an every-down back. But he can make an impact in the receiving game and be game-planned as a weapon. His offensive coordinator will need to make it a priority for him to get the ball in his hands. Otherwise, his output will never be high enough to be fantasy-relevant year in and year out.  

Am I way off-base? Or is this an accurate rookie analysis? Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @timbmartens and let me know where you rank this rookie. And stay tuned to Dynasty Nerds for more rookie profiles.

If you want even more tools to have a leg-up in your league, join the NerdHerd today for access to our film room! View film from this rookie, as well as all of the rookies in this class! Join today and use code “martens” for a 15% discount on your subscription!

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