Why Mike McDaniel Was So Pumped the Miami Dolphins Drafted Devon Achane

Here's the backstory to Mike McDaniel's celebratory fist pump after the Miami Dolphins took Texas A&M running back Devon Achane.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Mike McDaniel’s exaggerated fist-pump to the Miami Dolphins‘ selection of Devon Achane — like most everything he does that’s caught on camera — went viral Friday night.

And the emotion was genuine, if a bit exaggerated. Achane — the fleet-footed running back out of Texans A&M — had been on the Dolphins’ radar for two years. McDaniel wanted Achane so badly, he would actually talk to himself about the possibility in moments alone.

But there was some big-time doubt — at least in McDaniel’s mind — that Achane (he of the 4.32-second 40 time) would actually be there when the Dolphins went on the clock.

Miami Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel Sweats Out Devon Achane Pick

Here, in McDaniel’s words, was how the pick played out:

“Certain people have opinions that he’ll be there,” McDaniel said shortly after the pick. “Certain people don’t. And I was really excited that Chris [Grier, Dolphins’ GM] was right, that a player was there.

“… We get excited for all our players,” McDaniel added. “And that’s just because of the amount of work that we all put in over an extended period of time to figure out who those players are.”

McDaniel is a pessimist by nature when it comes to the draft. His default assumption is that if he loves a guy, that guy will probably be gone when it’s Miami’s turn to pick.

“So I think Chris has caught on to that, and yeah, I didn’t think he was gonna be there,” McDaniel continued. “That happens every draft and, and really, I was very hopeful for both of our selections, but it wasn’t totally positive they’d be there. So very excited about that opportunity we had.”

Added Grier: “If you could have heard what he said, he had the room laughing, but I can’t repeat it.”

Miami Dolphins Make Exception for Devon Achane

The Achane pick — which gave the Dolphins the fastest collection of skill positions in football (he joins Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Raheem Mostert on a team of track stars) — broke with tradition.

It was the first time the Dolphins have taken a running back in the first two days since they selected Kenyan Drake in 2016. And it gives Miami one of the league’s most complete running back rooms, with Achane, Mostert, and Jeff Wilson Jr. as their clear-cut top three.

Achane, in three collegiate seasons, rushed for 2,376 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. What’s more, the move almost certainly ends any pursuit of Dalvin Cook, the Vikings back linked in recent weeks to Miami.

“We brought him in on a 30 visit, spent some time with them, and got to know him as a person,” Grier said. “You watch film, and then probably about two, three weeks ago, Mike was convicted in his love for the player.”

Added McDaniel: “Yes I was, and I’m very proud of myself for being a good secret keeper. Because I just talked to myself a lot in my car, because I had to tell somebody about it.”

The football world certainly knows now.

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