The Steal of the 2024 NFL Draft out of the SEC

Last year it was De'Von Achane who was arguably one of the best steals of the draft at 84 by the Miami Dolphins. Every year, there is at least one steal. This year, it could very well be his former Texas A&M teammate in Ainias Smith. In this article, we dive into why that is, and you should not overlook Smith to be added to your fantasy football lineup.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

Texas A&M football has fallen on some hard times as a program the past few seasons. Newly hired head coach, Mike Elko looks to change that.

One thing that recently terminated head coach, Jimbo Fisher did right is produced NFL talent.

The latest example of this was former Aggies running back, De’Von Achane who was drafted in the third round this past year by the Miami Dolphins at 84 overall.

Considering the production that Achane brought to the club, this was an absolute steal.

During his 11 games this past season, Achane rushed for 800 yards and eight touchdowns. He also pitched in another 197 receiving yards and three touchdowns to match it.

Achane’s blazing speed and style fit in perfectly with the Dolphins who boasted an offense led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and speedy receivers Tyreke Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

Achane’s overall production was second only to first round rookie running back selections, Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs. His talent outperformed other running backs Zach Charbonnet, Kendre Miller and Tyjae Spears who were all drafted before him in the second round.

The Next SEC Football Sleeper Pick of the 2024 NFL Draft

While the entire NFL slept on Achane, his former fellow Aggie teammate Ainias Smith is about to be slept on as well. While Smith was a receiver for the Aggies and Achane a running back, their 40-yard dash times were similar with Achane running a 4.32 and Smith running a 4.51 at his pro day.

Smith is projected as a slot receiver, but depending on who drafts him, do not be surprised if he is utilized as somewhat of a swiss army knife and ends up getting some carries in the backfield.

During his sophomore season with the Aggies, Smith ran for 293 yards on 49 carries. That averaged six yards per carry to go along with four touchdowns. Smith also caught 2,407 yards through the air in five seasons with the Aggies for 19 touchdowns.

If drafted into the right system, look for Smith to shine and be a fantasy football steal. And again, no one will see it coming.