Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Bengals' Geno Atkins is No. 2 in our positional rankings of the NFL's best interior linemen. 

June 22, 2016

What is it with the NFL and short defensive tackles? No matter how many of them come into the league and thrive, they always seem to be underrated and underdrafted. The 6’ 1", 286-pound Atkins was taken in the fourth round of the 2010 draft because he was moved all over the line at Georgia, and there were concerns about his intensity and consistency. But Atkins tore it up from his first summer with the Bengals and has only gotten better from there. His best statistical season came in 2012, when his 12.5 sacks tied for sixth in the league, but his 2015 performance was a gem. He showed he had totally recovered from the torn ACL he suffered two seasons before with 11 sacks and a ton of pressures. Atkins can get to the quarterback with strength and leverage, but he has also developed a devastating rip move he uses to get past blockers at the line of scrimmage. When he turns on the speed to the pocket, it’s all over. 

You May Like