After being shafted from not only the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl, as well as the NFL’s Top 100 Players show last year, it’s safe to say that Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins was easily one of the NFL’s most underrated players, but after accounting for seven sacks through the first eight games of the 2012 season, Atkins is beginning to get some much deserved recognition. He was featured in an ESPN article featuring the NFL’s top 10 underrated players, though it’s also worth noting the article was written by Neil Hornsby of Pro football Focus, who has been on the Atkins band wagon for much of the last two seasons.
1. Geno Atkins, DT, Cincinnati Bengals
It seems a little absurd to call a Pro Bowl alternate and second team All-Pro underrated, but that’s exactly what Atkins is. When the great players are mentioned his name is noticeably absent, despite being the preeminent player at his position by a huge margin. Not only is he the most productive pass-rusher among defensive tackles but he’s also third in run stop percentage (the number of tackles he makes that constitute a loss for the offense on a per-snap basis). Until he’s a fixture in the top 20 of the NFL’s best players he’ll still be underrated.