Prospect Profiles: DT Geno Atkins (Georgia)

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First, I know people say “combine why does it matter…blah blah blah blah”.

Well here’s what the Combine SHOULD Be used for…first you look at the film and you decide what you need to know about the player.

Can he play?

What are his strenghts?

What are his weaknesses?

What do you have questions about that he’ll be able to do in the N.F.L.?

How does he Interview? What are his medicals about?

This is where the combine gains relevance. You check out the interviews you give a guy a chance to explain problems coaches have had with him or anything of that nature.

You check out and make sure there is nothing hiding you need to know about.

And it clarifies questions.

I think there is one player from the combine who clarified some questions for me…

Sean Weatherspoon

There were questions about whether or not he was Strong enough to play inside in a 4-3.

Well. Sean Weatherspoon had a great combine.

Weatherspoon had 4.57 40, a 40 inch vertical leap, and 34 Reps on the bench press.

He was also super productive in college and from all reports people were drawn to his aura (a natural leader, not a forced leader) at the Senior Bowl.

I thought his value might have been late1st round, but I’m going to go back and think about this more and I think I’m moving him up to the “target at 15 range” because he represents VALUE (I don’t care about position)

Geno Atkins is an interesting player becuase he is seen as purely having value ina 4-3 system because of this the number of teams who would be legetimately interested in Atkins aren’t copious and he may represent much better value for a 4-3 team that drafts him than he would have he was versatile enough to play in two systems (like a Jared Odrick for example).

Atkins has also had a good Off-season.

Measurables

Born March 28th 1988.

Listed at 6’1 and 293 pounds (officially from the combine). Atkins has 32 inch arm length (not huge), 9 5/8inch hand size.

Atkins ran a 4.75 40 at the combine, and hoisted up 34 reps on the bench press (tied for second), which is impressive.

Stats

Career: 116 tackles, 10 sacks.

2009: 32 tackles, 3 sacks.

Big Games: 8 tackles @ vanderbilt

and sacks vs Tennessee Tech, Auburn, and Texas A and M.

Atkins is one of those players who’s dominance at times doesn’t show up in the stats necessarily.

Scouting Reports

Sporting News Today.com Former Pro Scout Russ Lande

Against the Run: Was productive in this area in college, but lack of size will be more of an issue in the N.F.L. Shows intial quickness off the snap to get into gaps and disrupt blocking schemes or make tackles in the backfield; is highly productive against “reach” blocks. Shows the intial quickness, leverage and hand usage to jolt offensive linemen; can defeat one-on-one blocks with quick hands and feet. Lacks the size and strength to shed offensive linemen once they get their hand on him. Grade 7.5

Pass Rush: Explodes off the snap and into the backfield. Shows the hand usage and footwork to defeat one on one pass blocks with quick pass-rush moves. Gets underneath offensive linemen, jolting them backward when bull rushing aggressively; however struggles to free up and make sacks when close. Lacks size to be an elite bull rusher. Will deliver crushing hits to QB after the pass 7.5.

Intial quickness: Excels in this area enabling him to be highly productive despite his lack of size. Anticipates the snap count well, and often is the first defensive linemen moving. Gets into gaps or on top of offensive linemen before they can get set. Grade 8.5

Instincts: Shows excellent instincts and makes big plays. Sniffs out misdirection and trick plays. Must work on awarness of “side blocks”; can be driven down the line and out of the play too easily. Grade 8.0

Pursuit/tackling: Excels in this area. Gets around “reach” blocks and accelerates down the line. When unblocked on runs away moves easily through traffic to chase down ball carriers. As a tackler, stays under control and  shows good technique. Grade 8.0

Bottom line: During the ’09 season Atkins was Georgia’s most productive defensive player although he lost playing time late in the season to emerging Kade Wedson. Atkins has great athleticsm, speed, and explosiveness, but undersized defensive tackles are not suited for all NFL schemes. For teams that run a 4-3 scheme, he has high value as a 3 technique tackle. He probably will need a season or two as a backup to adjust to the pros and add bulk. Atkins will not be drafted as highly as we have him rated because of his size, but in time will prove to be a good value.

DraftCountdown

Strengths:
Very athletic — Explosive and quick off the snap — Fast with a burst to close — Nimble feet — Is strong and surprisingly powerful — Can penetrate and make plays in the backfield — Displays great mobility and range — Does a nice job in pursuit — Plays with good pad level and leverage — Uses his hands well — Solid instincts — Lots of quality experience — Durable — Terrific  program  pedigree — NFL  Bloodlines.

Weaknesses:
Undersized and lacks the ideal bulk you look for — Is not stout at the point of attack — Will never be a great run defender — Has trouble taking on and shedding blockers — Mediocre tackler — Stamina may be an issue — Average sack production — Isn’t a fit  for every scheme.

Notes:
Was essentially a three-year starter for the Bulldogs — Father, Gene Atkins, Sr., played safety in the NFL for a decade — Named 2nd Team All-SEC in 2009 — Honored as the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player as a senior — Also excelled in the classroom at Georgia — Hails from the same college program that produced Jason Ferguson, Richard Seymour, Marcus Stroud, Johnathan Sullivan, Kedric Golston and Corvey Irvin — Spent his entire college career playing in a defensive tackle rotation with a number of other future pros — A better prospect than his statistics might lead you to believe — A classic one-gapper whose best fit will most likely come as a three-technique in a 4-3  front

CBS NFL Draft Scout

02/11/2010 – PRO POTENTIAL: DT Geno Atkins recorded one sack in the Senior Bowl and will attend the NFL Combine in Indianapolis later this month. His quickness up the middle against Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupati, the top-ranked guard at the Senior Bowl, impressed some NFL scouts. The 6-2, 286-pound Atkins is projected as a fifth-round pick.

highly-touted prep prospect who signed with Georgia after being tabbed the 5-A state of Florida Defensive Player of the Year, Atkins appeared to be a bright young star by his sophomore season. Despite only starting seven games in 2007, Atkins was a virtual bowling ball of butcher knives with 41 tackles, including 15 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.

Unfortunately, he has been unable to match that production since.

Understandably, much was expected out of Atkins in 2008. While he started all 13 games and posted solid tackle numbers (34), his production behind the line of scrimmage shrunk significantly (7.5 tackles for loss, zero sacks). Rather than pin all of the blame on Atkins, many insiders felt the loss of fellow tackle Jeff Owens to a torn ACL in the first game of the season simply allowed offenses to focus interior blocking schemes on Atkins.

With Owens back on the field in 2009, however, Atkins remained maddeningly inconsistent — posting intriguing numbers (33 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks) but doing so while only starting three of 13 games because the coaching staff didn’t know what kind of effort they’d get out of him.

Possessing enough talent to prove a better NFL player than a collegiate one, Atkins may have to be used on a rotational system early in his career — not just because he tires quickly but to use playing time as a motivator.

Analysis
Pass rush: Very good initial explosion off the snap. Very good bull rush to push the guard deep into the pocket. Needs to improve his use of hands to disengage from blocks. Relies on his quickness and strength, but too rarely is able to get off blocks once properly engaged. Doesn’t make enough plays in the backfield for how consistently he’s back there.Run defense: Initial quickness and explosive pop he hit offensive linemen with can be just as effective against the running game. Recognizes the cut block and sprawls quickly to protect his knees. Good upper-body strength to slip off blocks as the ballcarrier runs past. Lacks sustained quickness to close, however. If he doesn’t stop the ballcarrier at the line, Atkins rarely gets him as he shows only marginal effort in pursuit.Explosion: Fires off the ball, showing very good quickness off the snap. Can split the gap and disrupt the play before it has a chance to get started.Strength: Good strength to stack and shed. Uses his natural leverage advantage and good lower body strength to anchor.Tackling: Good strength to slip off blocks for the drag-down tackle as the ballcarrier is slipping by. Marginal flexibility to break down in space and resorts to lunging. Good explosiveness if given a clear lane to generate speed.

Intangibles: Short, stumpy defender with limited room for additional muscle mass. Constantly rotated here and seems to tire easily. Good bloodlines. Father, Gene Atkins, Sr., played 10 years in the NFL as a safety with the New Orleans Saints. Occasionally lined up as a fullback in short-yardage situations. Hasn’t proven the work ethic or determination to take advantage of his skill set. Seems to have the tools to be a difference-maker, but needs constant prodding from coaches. Good academics. Graduated from high school a semester early and has earned Honor Roll recognition while at UGA.

NFL Comparison: Anthony McFarland, ex-Tampa Bay/Indianapolis


Where the Mocks Have him Falling:

Walterfootball.com 2nd round pick pick 63 Indinapolis Colts

Big Board Rankings

DraftBoard Insider 94th

Drafttek.com 137th

ESPN’s Scouts Inc (Unrated)

Bartolis Summary and Final Verdict

Geno Atkins is a nice prospect, but he’s not a versatile DT. He’s clearly best suited for a 4-3 in many people’s opinon. Atkins also was not super-productive at Georgia this year like Lamarr Houston was at Texas or a lot of other players where that played defensive tackles.

Atkins though might be one of those players who is going to be a better pro than a College player. He had a very nice combine and he showed very good athleticism.

Bartolis Final Verdict

It is certainley not out of the question that Geno Atkins could be drafted in round 2 of the NFL draft at the spot the Giants select, but like I’ve said before I’m a best player available kind of guy and Atkins is not going to be a BPA in the second round.

Now if he could fall to the third round (which is possible) he’d be great value then, but I’m not sure if that will happen or not.

Atkins sounds like a perfect pick for the Colts in the late 2nd round, but we’ll see what happens.

I like Lamarr Houston much more than I like Geno Atkins. I also like Chad Jones, Nate Allen, Sean Weatherspoon, Jared Odrick (moving up too fast won’t be around in the 2nd round), Jahvid Best, Daryl Washington, Brandon Spikes, and a whole host of players in the middle of the second round more than I would like to see Geno Atkins drafted there.

Previous Profiles:

DT Lamarr Houston

RB Jahvid Best

OT Trent Williams

Derrick Morgan

OL Mike Iupati

S Chad Jones

OLB/DE Sergio Kindle

Sean Weatherspoon

ILB Sean Lee

S Eric Berry

OT Bruce Campbell

ILB Daryl Washington

DT/NT Dan Williams (Updated with K.C. Joyner’s Draft Lab 2/7)

CB Kyle Wilson

DT Jared Odrick

DE Carlos Dunlap

ILB Micah Johnson

DT Arthur Jones

OT Bryan Baluga

OT Anthony Davis (UPDATED 2/5/10)

DT Brian Price

ILB Brandon Spikes

S Earl Thomas

ILB Rolando McClain

RB C.J. Spiller

S Taylor Mays


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