However, running back De’Von Achane, Miami’s third-round pick out of Texas A&M shined in his rookie season, as the former Aggie totaled 800 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns on an incredible 7.8 yards per carry. He also added another 197 yards and three scores on 27 receptions.
The most impressive aspect of Achane’s first year in the NFL is that he did all of that in just 11 games.
Heading into his second season, Achane has been selected by Pro Football Focus as the Dolphins’ breakout candidate for 2024.
Here’s what PFF’s Jonathon Macri had to say about Achane:
“There’s an argument to be made that Achane’s rookie season was a breakout after posting over 800 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. However, Achane did this on just 119 offensive snaps (49th) across 11 games in the regular season while also playing behind Raheem Mostert. Mostert is still scheduled to be with the team in 2023 but will be 32 years old and could handle a lighter workload, especially considering how efficient Achane was with his touches. A larger workload and a full season could equal a true breakout season for the 2023 third-round pick, even if he doesn’t maintain his historic 7.9 yards per carry.”
As Macri said, Achane’s rookie season could be called a breakout, and it’s certainly worthy of that title. However, if he can stay healthy in 2024, he can be a game-changer for Miami’s already potent offense. After watching his work in just 11 games, it’s not unrealistic to say that if he plays close to a full season, Achane could be in the conversation for Offensive Player of the Year.
If you believe that Achane has already broken out, there are certainly other candidates. Smith could be one after playing just 20 defensive snaps as a rookie. Channing Tindall and Erik Ezukanma, two picks from their 2022 class, could be others, as they enter their third seasons in the NFL which is when many show signs of improvement.