Tuesday, 20 April 2010

POTD: Geno Atkins, DT, Georgia

By Kip Earlywine

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 293
40 time: 4.75

No video to link this time, unless you want interviews.

This will be my last POTD before the 2010 draft. I'll do POTDs for each Seahawks draft pick and as time allows, I'll try to get tape and scout the important picks.

Atkins was mentioned by the source as a possible option for Seattle at #60. I don't think Atkins will fall that far, and I would speculate that Atkins probably is lower on their #60 big board than Best and Gilyard since those two players are such perfect fits for the new offense. Still, Atkins is a guy to keep an eye on in the 2nd round.

I haven't been able to see any footage of Atkins, so this evaluation is going to be 100% borrowed from the many scouting reports I looked up. Here's a pretty good one from Mocking the draft, if you want.

DT stats can be really hard to judge, since a DTs ability to get sacks is effected by his surrounding help. The pass rush is one of the most "team sport" oriented aspects of football. Last year, Darryl Tapp seemed to streak into the pocket every other play, but only had 2.5 sacks all year, while Lawrence Jackson maybe got in the pocket once or twice a game and finished with 4 sacks, most of them cleaning up for Mebane and Tapp. This is why I'm so keen on Seattle taking advantage of this stellar DL class, reputed to be one of the best ever. If every one of your front four pass rushers are deadly, who are you going to double team or step away from?

Atkins only had 10.5 TFL (tackles for loss) and 3 sacks last year, and those stats were actually better than his 2008 numbers. If DTs were drafted purely by production, Atkins would be a 5th round pick. He did however, manage 15 TFL and 7.5 sacks as a mere sophomore in 2007. The difference? Georgia's defense, aside from Reshad Jones, was terrible the last two years, so teams simply double teamed Atkins almost every snap and made the rest of the front 7 get pressure, which they failed in doing.

Normally I like to make fun of the senior bowl. Whatever meaning there is in having NCAA's best seniors play each other is 99% wiped out by the fact that its a sample size of one, and anyone can have an "on" or "off" game at any time. That said, Atkins raised a lot of eyebrows by dominating at the senior bowl. Some observers even called him "unblockable." Even more impressive was that Atkins was displaying this dominance against none other than Mike Iupati. Hearing about this, I couldn't help but wonder if it was a fluke, or an exciting indication of what Atkins is capable of when he's not constantly game planned and double teamed. If Seattle drafts Atkins, they'd be pairing him with Mebane, and Mebane is a double team drawing (and beating) machine.

Its not hard to see why tools-centric Schneider likes Atkins. Atkins has arguably the best physical tools in the draft for a DT. Atkins had 34 reps in the bench press despite weighing only 293 pounds, and he also ran a blistering 4.75 forty time at the combine, easily the fastest among all the DTs. I'm not sure how relevant a forty time or even bench reps is to a DT, but it certainly does paint the picture of a great athlete and a hard worker.

Atkins also has pretty good pass rush moves and is definitely a pass rush oriented DT. Because of his relatively smallish size, agility, and tilt towards being a pass rush specialist, I think he makes a lot of sense for Tampa 2 style teams, Seattle being one such team. I can't offer any personal thoughts having not seen him, but from what I'm reading, this sounds like a pretty smart target by the Seahawks front office.

Expect him to be drafted in... round 2, maybe 3.


akki said...

Kip, are you sure Atkins was double-teamed all the time? Georgia had two other senior DTs that are also expected to get drafted this year. Jeff Owens is a 3-4 NT prospect who can command the double-team, and should be a mid-round pick. Owens missed all of 2008, so that might excuse Atkins' performance as a junior, but Owens played all of last year, so we should've expected better numbers out of Atkins as a senior.

Kip Earlywine said...

That's what at least 1 scouting report I read said.

CLanterman said...

Great write-up. There are so many good DTs we can get at #60, I hope we take advantage of this great D-line class.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the write-up. I was the guy asking for it after being impressed by him at Senior Bowl week and the Combine.