Geno Atkins – Georgia
Scout: David Syvertsen
Height/Weight: 6’1 – 286
Pro Potential: Mike Patterson – Philadelphia Eagles
Pass Rush/Closing Ability/Moves and Counter Moves: Penetrator that uses a nice array of swim and rip moves to slice through the line. Gets off the snap well and sets himself up well for the double move inside.
Pursuit/Lateral Movement/Agility: Very athletic for an interior defensive lineman. Can run with balance and change direction on a dime. Low center of gravity allows him to fit in to tight spaces and explode towards the action.
Quickness/Explosion: Is capable of being a consistent penetrator. Because of his low center of gravity and powerful base, Atkins can fire out of his stance and blow by the blocker. Gives himself the initial positional advantage with his quickness.
Run Defend/Recognition: Does not focus on the action. Does not read blocks well and can be ridden out easily by a smart blocker. Can get reckless at the point of attack and lose track of the action. Does make a lot of tackles for loss, 33 over his career.
Size/Length/Hand Size: Has a short, stout, muscular build. Tree trunk legs with enormous calves. Has the kind of build that is perfect for his style of play.
Strength/Ability to Shed Blocks: Can be neutralized by a strong straight ahead blocker with ease. However with his ability to fire out low and quick, he can get the initial positional advantage and once he has that, he uses his arms well to free himself up. Hard guy to stay on for an entire play.
Tackling: Shows good form in space against a ball carrier. Remains low and can deliver a pop. Will lunge too early, preventing full force contact.
Technique/Hand Use/Leverage: Plays low and small, making him difficult to control. Exerts tremendous power from his base. Plays to his body well. Hands are not always used well, might be a result of having such short arms. Active upper body throughout engagement.
Versatility: Has experience all over the Georgia defensive front. Ideal position is the three-technique. Can be the penetrating nose tackle type in certain packages. May not be the fit as a 3-4 end because of his struggles to handle the double team and maintain gap control.
Final Word: After a strong sophomore season where it appeared that he would be the next big thing in the SEC, Atkins totaled less than half the sacks from 2007 in his junior and senior years combined. While he played within a system that favored rotations, Atkins never took his performance to the next level. There were several effort and motor concerns with him at Georgia, and without the top tier physical package, that will be an issue in the NFL. However without any prior knowledge of him, one would think he could be a second round player after watching his performance at the Senior Bowl, as he was the one defensive lineman that gave Idaho guard Mike Iupati a fit on the field. His ability to penetrate a gap and free himself up in the backfield is something every defense wants. He will not get much bigger physically and his role at the next level will be limited, but he can be important piece to a strong unit if he remains focused. He will likely be a middle round option and especially attractive to the Tampa-2 defenses.