CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills is sacked by Geno Atkins #97 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Lists. Everyone is doing them. Best players heading into 2012, best players per position, most underrated, overrated, likely to breakout, expected to go to the playoffs--they're all over with a variety explored from several analysts throughout from those that cover the league. The NFL Network is doing a top-100 list, but so are others, including Peter Schrager with FoxSports.com, who includes three Bengals players in his top-100 players in the NFL list.
A.J. Green shows up at No. 73 with Schrager writing:
Green’s the first rookie wideout to make the Pro Bowl since 2003. He caught 65 balls for 1,057 yards and scored seven touchdowns. Big numbers for any receiver, they're huge numbers for a rookie, playing with a rookie quarterback, when neither guy had much of an offseason to work together. Expect even bigger things from Green, a 6-foot-4 manchild with 4.5 40-yard-dash speed.
Andrew Whitworth comes in at No. 76:
Whitworth doesn’t get nearly the same ink or media attention as, say, a Jake Long, but he’s right up there in the conversation about best tackles in the league. Whether it’s at right or left tackle, he’s a mauler who rarely misses any games due to injury. Cedric Benson rushed for 1,000 yards in three straight years in Cincinnati. Many of those yards came behind a barreling Whitworth.
However the top player on the Cincinnati Bengals roster, according Peter Schrager is defensive tackle Geno Atkins at No.44:
Not familiar with Atkins? Well, he doesn’t have a big social media presence, isn’t a regular on Sirius XM radio, and doesn’t have his own Fathead. Yet. But he’s right up there with Mr. Suh in the argument for the best young defensive tackle in the league. Atkins had eight sacks from the defensive tackle position last year, the most in the league, and made his first Pro Bowl. He’s still only 24 and is only getting better.