Geno Atkins is one of the interior pass rushers in the NFL.
Atkins is easily one of the most important players for the Bengals, largely because of the attention he attracts from the offensive line. He also has the ability to blow up a play at any given time.
Atkins has another adjective to add: Unblockable.
Bleacher Report ranks him as the sixth most unblockable pass-rusher in the NFL, who entered the NFL as an undersized defensive tackle out of Georgia that didn’t hear his name called until Round 4.
Eight seasons, 61 sacks and six Pro Bowls later, 31 organizations have been proven wrong—and the Cincinnati Bengals got lucky. As has been the case for shorter defensive tackles from John Randle to Grady Jarrett, Atkins is great when he’s using leverage against a blocker because he gets under the opponent’s pads and just drives him back into the pocket.
The 30-year-old intuits when he’ll face a single-team against a weaker blocker, and he’ll take advantage accordingly. Atkins can split double-teams just as well as he can bull-rush, and his underrated footwork allows him to maneuver through opposing lines with quick counters and spin moves
Atkins really did a great job of showing everyone else they missed out. He has 61 sacks in his career, and he really opened up the idea again that defensive tackles don’t have to be huge piles of weight to throw at the offensive line. Leverage is a huge part of who wins up front in the trenches, and it is almost impossible to win the leverage battle with Atkins.