Ranking the 10 Best Players in the NFL

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10. Geno Atkins, DT

Dec 23, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Bengals won the game, 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Geno Atkins is one of the most underrated players on one of the best defensive units in the NFL. Not putting Atkins in my top 10 list would me criminal and even at number 10 seems too low for one of the best players in all of football.

At 6’1” and 300 pounds, Atkins seems undersized compared to other NFL defensive linemen. In reality he’s not undersized he’s just a tad short, which could actually be an advantage when it comes to playing with leverage against taller offensive linemen. You know what they say about football: “lowest man wins.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Atkins combined for 78 sacks, hits and hurries in 2012, which was 20 more than any other player at his position. Don’t let these stats fool you, Atkins is a complete player and a force against the run.

The type of attention that Atkins demands from opposing offenses allows other players like Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap to take advantage of one-on-one opportunities. Atkins’ presence on the Bengals defense is vital to the success of the unit as a whole and the players who compose it.

Make no mistake; Atkins is the best at his position.