As the NFL Top 100 Players of 2013 continues its countdown, Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins has been voted as the 48-best player in the league after being selected 36th to the list at all last year.
The year as a whole may go down as a year to forget after tearing his ACL in Week 9, but it was still nice to see his peers show him enough respect to vote him into the Top 100 after missing half the season. He finished '13 with six sacks, 20 QB hurries and nine tackles.
His last full season came in 2012, an All-Pro season in which Atkins established himself as the league’s best DT. He's now regarded as one of the best defensive lineman in the entire NFL. He’s mentioned in the same breath as Denver Broncos defensive end/linebacker Von Miller, Robert Quinn and Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, and most would agree those are the three best d-lineman in the world.
Atkins was selected to a second straight Pro Bowl for his ’12 performance, and was voted a starter for the first time. His biggest accolade came in first-team selection in the Associated Press All-Pro team while leading all NFL interior linemen in 2012 in sacks with 12.5, which was third-most in franchise history.
More than likely, Burfict and Atkins will be joined by wide receiver A.J. Green as the three Bengals who make the Top 100. Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth should be on the list, but after not making it last year, it's hard to see him being selected this high.
Defensive ends Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson are also players who probably just missed out on cracking the list.