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  • Devon Achane 2023 NFL Draft profile: Scout report for the Texas A&M RB
Texas A&M running back Devon Achane

Devon Achane 2023 NFL Draft profile: Scout report for the Texas A&M RB

Devon Achane: 5’9”, 185 pounds.

A four-star recruit in 2020, Devon Achane showcased his explosive skill-set right away in a limited capacity with the Aggies, averaging 9.6 yards and scoring five touchdowns on 48 touches.


Over the last two years, he has become more of a featured player, alongside Isaiah Spiller as a sophomore and then even more heavily last year (rushing 226 times for 2,012 yards and catching 60 passes for 456 yards with 21 combined touchdowns). Last season, he was recognized as a first-team All-SEC running back AND all-purpose player.

Devon Achane scout report: Strengths

Devon Achane, Miami v Texas A&M

+ Texas A&M ran quite a bit of invert veer and sweeps with a QB counter option, because Achane’s speed to beat flat-footed edge defenders and stack linebackers towards the sideline was such an asset.

+ Yet, his ability to stop his feet and then re-accelerate to beat defenders to the spot is incredible. You think somebody’s about to get him all the way and they just don’t.


+ Has the shiftiness to have his feet pointed to the outside and slide inside of blockers/tacklers as he sees that lane opening up all of a sudden.

+ Those lateral hops and the ability to alter his running lanes without dramatic movement are very effective, as well as those little one-step stutter steps to give blockers that extra split-second.

+ Can turn his upper body and reduce his surface area for defenders to grab as he’s working across the line of scrimmage, getting really skinny through the hole.

+ Already does a nice job of forcing linebackers to wait on the backside with subtle hesitation and then attacking the front-side.

+ Looking at guys with Achane’s level of speed, they usually tend to rely on it in a way where they try to beat guys down the sideline constantly. But Achane will cut inside defenders with outside leverage, even though he knows a hit from one of the guys in pursuit is coming.


+ Was a highly productive rusher this past season, despite running (somewhat surprisingly) behind one of the worst O-lines in college, where there was traffic in the backfield quite regularly.

+ Officially the fastest running back in the class with a 4.32 in the 40, but I didn’t actually need a number to know that anyway.

+ You frequently see safeties spin around and have to sprint after him once they realize the angle they chose working down from depth won’t cut it.

+ Once he gets rolling, he can bounce off guys trying to dive at his legs, and somehow finds ways to get his feet back onto the ground. He’ll get his head turned momentarily but still won't get off track a whole lot.

+ Looks like he greased up at times with the way he squirts through creases between the defenders and you just see guys slipping off him.


+ He makes some of the sharpest cuts of anybody in this class, without ever slipping it feels like.

+ Forced 53 missed tackles on 173 attempts through his first two seasons with the Aggies and earned PFF rushing grades over 90.0 in each of those (while getting to 53 this past year on 196 carries).

+ With his skills in space, Devon Achane is a legit threat if you get the ball to him on routes towards the flats and in the screen game.

+ You can use that speed vertically as well though, blowing by linebackers on streak/wheel routes in man-coverage or splitting the safeties as they widen in cover-two. He beat Alabama’s Christian Harris (third-round pick by the Texans) for a big play on one of those in 2021.

+ Attacks through the inside half of the man in pass-pro and at least forces those guys to take the long route.

+ There are so many backs his size that cheat effort in pass-pro, while Achane does give up his body and get in front of charging blitzers.

+ He has a few nice cut-blocks against mugged-up A-gap blitzers on tape.

Devon Achane scout report: Weaknesses

Devon Achane - NFL Combine

– On the very small end of the spectrum, with short arms (29 inches) and small hands (8 ½-inches), and he doesn’t appear like he’ll be able to add a lot to his frame.

– Doesn’t really have the pure strength to drive through bodies and churn out those tough yards, while being twisted to the ground quite regularly.

– When the play is dead, I’d like for him to just run into the backs of his linemen and maybe get a yard, rather than stutter in the backfield and lose a couple.

– Devon Achane doesn’t really snatch up blitzers and control pass-pro reps, rather than just doing enough to not get the quarterback killed for at least a couple of seconds (was responsible for nine pressures).

– He officially “only” had three drops last year, but his catch radius is limited and he tends to cradle the ball instead of catching it away from his body (had a couple of passes go off his hands, where he had to reach out in front of him).

Devon Achane scout report: Grade

Devon Achane - LSU v Texas A&M

Similar to what I mentioned with Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs, there’s a certain path you should take in order to maximize Devon Achane’s skill-set. The difference between the two is that the latter doesn’t have quite as natural hands and will play at 10-15 pounds less. So I don’t see him ever being a legit RB1 in the NFL.

While I thought he still had more of a track body in 2021 and that was also his play-style to some degree (with a ton of one-read runs from shotgun), I think his micro-movements and ability to make the most of run schemes has really improved. Not many guys will ever run away from SEC defense as consistently as we’ve seen him do.

To me he’s somebody who can deliver a real splash with touches in the early teens, but we don’t see many backs at his size be major contributors in the pros typically.

Grade: Late second / early third round

You might also like other 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports - Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA, Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas, Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama, Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss.

Feel free to head over to halilsrealfootballtalk.com for all my draft breakdowns and check out my Youtube channel for even more NFL content!

Edited by
John Maxwell
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