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Miami Dolphins running back De'Von Achane had one of the most explosive rookie seasons in recent memory, and rewrote the NFL history books along the way. Achane gained 800 yards and eight touchdowns on just 103 carries, posting a preposterous average of 7.8 yards per tote -- the highest mark in league history for a running back with at least 100 carries. (Among all players, only Michael Vick and Randall Cunningham have exceeded it.) He also added 27 catches for 197 yards and three additional scores. And he did all this in just 11 games, one of which he left early due to injury.

The Dolphins will surely be looking for ways to get him even more involved in Year 2.

"For him, the more he can understand within the offense, the more ways he can get the ball," Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "He had outstanding ball production. … To find different ways to get people the ball, whether that's different types of pass routes, whether that's different types of run schemes that you can get comfortable with, all those things. More ways to be at the point of attack to play within this offense, that's what this offseason really provides for him."

As for what exactly that might look like, Achane gave a hint.

"Just me lining up at different positions, as far as like receiver, running routes and stuff," Achane said earlier this month. "That's something that we're doing different this year, so that's something that I've been doing in the offseason."

De'Von Achane
MIA • RB • #28
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In contrast with other backs whose teams insisted they would line up all over the field, Achane actually did spend a bunch of time lining up in places other than the backfield during his rookie year. He played 300 snaps during the regular season, according to Pro Football Focus, and lined up in the slot or out wide 100 times. Among the 68 running backs who had at least 50 carries, only Cordarrelle Patterson -- who began his career as a wide receiver and only ran half as many routes as Achane -- lined up outside the backfield on a greater share of his snaps.

Achane also got the ball quite a bit when lined up in those positions. He had an NFL-high 13 carries for an NFL-high 131 yards when lined up in the slot or out wide. Of those 13 carries, 10 gained at least five yards and four of them resulted in explosive gains. He was also targeted on 21 passes, catching 16 of them for 122 yards. His 1.58 yards per route run on those plays was nearly 0.6 yards better than the average for running backs when lined up outside the backfield.

The second-year back credits the Dolphins' wide receivers for helping with his development as a pass-catcher heading into 2024.

"I got some of the best receivers in the room here," Achane said. "During OTAs, I was going out there running routes with them when they weren't here. I did that with them. Basically, why not? Our receiver room is one of the greatest, and if I want to do the stuff they want me to do, might as well take tips and learn from them."

Achane's slight build (5-foot-9, 188 pounds) likely does not lend itself to a bell-cow role, but we have already seen just how productive he can be as part of a time share in the backfield. It's likely that he will again split carries and touches, perhaps with both veteran running back Raheem Mostert and third-round rookie Jaylen Wright. Still, if Achane can tap further into his versatility and truly impact the game as a receiver, that would help keep him on the field more often to make an even greater impact, while also potentially making Miami's offense even more explosive.