The sack leaders in the NFL and on most teams are traditionally outside linebackers and defensive ends, but that doesn’t apply to Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
Atkins, 23, leads the Bengals with eight sacks, which is exactly why the Ravens offensive line won’t be taking the second-year player lightly in Sunday’s regular-season finale.
“Usually, when you’re looking at the sack leaders, it’s probably a D-end. But Geno’s a good player, and he’s surrounded by great players,” left guard Ben Grubbs said, via The Baltimore Sun. “That whole D-line is probably the strength of the defense, and they’re doing a good job.”
Atkins’ eight sacks is tops among interior linemen in the league, and he’s just a half-sack away from breaking a tie with Dan Wilkinson for the most sacks in a single-season by a Bengals interior lineman.
A fourth-round draft pick in 2010, Atkins is listed at 6-feet-1, 300 pounds, which may be one of the main reasons why the defensive tackle fell so late in the draft. Despite his small stature, Atkins has proven to be a key cog in Marvin Lewis’ 4-3 scheme and he’s someone the Ravens offensive line will have to account for when he’s in the game.