1. Geno Atkins
Finally, we come to the Bengals’ best pick of the decade, Geno Atkins. The front office selected Atkins in the fourth round of the 2010 Draft (120th overall), making him one of the biggest steals of the decade across the entire NFL.
Over the past ten years, Geno has made eight Pro Bowl appearances and been named a first-team All-Pro twice. On Wednesday, April 6th, he was named to the NFL’s 2010 All-Decade team, ranking him as one of the four best defensive tackles of the decade.
Atkins has had 75.5 sacks in his ten-year career, which is second only to teammate Carlos Dunlap. It shouldn’t be overlooked, however, that Atkins is a defensive tackle, a position that typically gets fewer sacks than Dunlap’s position of defensive end. Atkins also had a season cut short to injury and was slow to get back to top form the next season.
The Bengals don’t often get the honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame, but Atkins will likely be one of the few to get that honor, especially if he can have a few more seasons of high production. To get a Hall of Famer with a fourth-round pick is not only the Bengals’ best pick of the decade but one of the best picks in the entire NFL over the past decade.