Geno Atkins  DL  Georgia  

TALENT BOARD

 Round 2


 

STRENGTHS

Geno has the size, strength, speed, quickness and overall athletic talent to play any position in a 1-gap attack style of defense along the front of the defensive line.  He has an excellent burst off the ball and has a variety of pass rushing moves to free himself up and become a disruptive force in the backfield of his opponent.  Geno can play over the center in a 3-4 defense or as a DT in a 4-3 defense.  I believe if you slim him down, he could easily play DE in a 3-4 or a 4-3.  He has the speed, quickness and change of direction skills to be an effective pass rusher from any position on the defensive front.  Geno shows good feet and lateral agility to string a play out along the line of scrimmage; however, that is not where his impact is for the team that drafts him.  Geno's mentality is to get into the backfield as quickly as possible to disrupt a play and make a sack or tackle behind the line of scrimmage.  I suspect that this was a problem for the Georgia coaching staff. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

There is a problem with the situation that Geno was in and I can only guess that Geno's style of play and the coaching staff did not see eye-to-eye.  In my opinion, Geno was not on the field enough to impact.  I suspect it was because of injuries to other teammates that Geno was asked to play in a different way than he wanted to play.  That's the only reason I can think of as to why a player with this much talent wasn't on the field for every down.  He didn't look out of shape to me.  I did a search and I did not see any off field issues.  My only thought was that perhaps he might shed some weight and play outside instead of DT...but that's just an opinion.  All I can tell you is when the kid was on the field as a DT, he dominated his opponents.  The problem is that he wasn't on the field enough and I don't know why. 

 

BOTTOM LINE

All I can tell you about Geno is that he has as much talent as, and maybe more, than Gerald McCoy (DT Oklahoma).  He did not play in as many games and I do not know why.  I guess in this case, the scouts will have to do their homework.  But if Geno was being asked to play a different style of game than he wanted to play and either refused, did not practice hard or show up for practice late, then you have to downgrade him even more than I have.  The truth is, with all of his talent, he was still a part time player.  That has to mean something!  A talented player who is un-coachable is a player who is not playing up to his potential and is not a team player.  That doesn't mean I would not draft Geno, it just means you have to understand this kid's mentality to motivate him to be the player his talent suggest that he can be.  This situation reminds me a lot of the Bruce Smith (DE Buffalo Bills) years ago.  Bruce came out as an overweight 300lbs DT with enormous talent who slimmed down to about 260 lbs to become one of the best pass rushing DE's in a 3-4 defense.  I really think that Geno can make that story come true for himself.  Bruce was also a moody prima donna who demanded respect and a new contract just about every three or four years.  I'm guessing that Geno might have that same type of personality.  If Geno had played in more games, he would be listed as a 1st round draft choice and a possible top ten pick.  Because he was used in a rotation basis and did not start in a lot of games, you have to take that into account.  Geno is a very talented, but an emotional project.  You don't have to work that much on his talent, but his intangibles need a ton of adjusting and that is a lot to ask of a coach at the NFL level in this day of "what have you done for me lately" attitude.  I think it's all up to Geno and, if he connects with the right coach, he will be successful at the next level.  If this kid falls to any round lower than the 1st, he could be one of the steals of this draft.  Right now, Geno is not highly rated, but this could change by the time we get to draft day. 

 

Drew Boylhart  4/10