If Geno Atkins played for any other team, especially one in a major market, the United States would change their flag to a picture of his face. He plays for the Bengals, though, and because every major sports network in the country somehow seems to forget that Cincinnati has a professional football team, he doesn't quite get the recognition that he deserves.
CBS Sports' Mike Freeman compiled a list of the league's 10 most underrated players, and Atkins came in at No. 10.
10. Geno Atkins, DT, Cincinnati: It's not a coincidence that the Bengals' playoff resurgence is in conjunction with the growth of Atkins. He's that good but remains a hidden gem to many in the sport.
Of course, we know Atkins is the best interior defensive lineman in the NFL. There is not other defensive tackle that can rush the passer the way Atkins can and he is also one of the best interior defensive tackles against the run. Pro Football Focus ranked Atkins as the highest rated defensive tackle in the NFL with a score of 80. The next defensive tackle on the list is Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy, who earned a score of 31.2.
It's safe to say that Atkins is the most dominant player at his position than any other player at any other position in the NFL. The only other players with grades that high are Von Miller and J.J. Watt. The three could be considered the three best defensive players in the NFL.
So why exactly is he underrated?