Thomas B. Shea
The Cincinnati Bengals scored big drafting undersized defensive tackle Geno Atkins in 2010. And Atkins had no idea the Bengals were interested.
The Cincinnati Bengals found themselves a gem during the 2010 NFL Draft. After selecting tight end Jermaine Gresham, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, wide receiver Jordan Shipley and cornerback Brandon Ghee, the Cincinnati Bengals selected an undersized defensive tackle in the fourth round from Georgia. Predraft comments in 2010 listed Geno Atkins as short that needs bulk; though most of the comments were nothing short of cut and paste generalities this time of year.
Here's the odd thing.
Cincinnati knew all they needed about Atkins without speaking with him or inviting him for a predraft workout like most prospects. That's right. After being drafted in the 2010 NFL draft, the Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote that Geno Atkins was "surprised to be chosen by the Bengals because they had not worked him out or interviewed him."
Three years later and Atkins is a two-time Pro Bowler, AP First-Team All-Pro who is one year (at most) away from signing a monstrous contract because he's collectively considered the best defensive tackle in the NFL.