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Geno Atkins among top 25 in PFF's top 101 NFL players of 2015

The Bengals have already seen a few noteable players make this year's top 101 players list, but Geno Atkins rounds out the group as the top ranked member of the Bengals on Pro Football Focus' annual list.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In case you weren't already aware, the Bengals have a very talented roster. You don't need an annual list of the best players in the NFL to tell you that, but it's always nice when members of the team get recognition on a list like Pro Football Focus' top 101 players from the 2015 season.

We've seen a number of Bengals players make the list prior to today in the 26-101 range, most of whom did not even make the list last year. The team saw five players on this year's list, which tied with the Patriots for the fourth most in the NFL behind the Broncos (6), Seahawks (7), and Panthers (9).

PFF releases their list in series of 25 players at a time. We've already explored Tyler Eifert and Adam Jones bringing up the bottom of the list as well as A.J. Green and Andrew Whitworth coming in a among the top 45. Today, the final portion of the list was released and Geno Atkins rounded out an outstanding Bengals class due to his incredible comeback performance in 2015.

17. Geno Atkins, DT, Cincinnati Bengals

2014 was something of a write-off as the first year back from a serious knee injury, but 2015 showed us the best of Geno Atkins once again, having last seen that guy back in 2012. Atkins trailed only Aaron Donald in PFF grading among defensive tackles, and ended the year with 14 sacks and 82 total pressures. Like Donald, Atkins is an undersized DT, but one who plays with exceptional quickness and leverage to destroy plays deep in the backfield. There are few better interior linemen than Atkins when healthy, and we saw this season that his peak has not been stolen by injury.

Best performance: Week 13 at Cleveland: +9.2

Key stat: Atkins recorded the second-highest pass-rushing productivity among DTs in 2015.

Atkins came in at 17th in the NFL, but second overall at his position. The only defensive tackle in the league that ranked higher on this list is St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who ranked No. 1 overall.

PFF notes Atkins as having 14 sacks, a number that matched Donald's total sack numbers on the year. The primary difference appears to be the total pass rushing productivity, which means Donald was credited as pressuring the quarterback more often than Atkins.

Ultimately, the Bengals made out pretty well on this year's list with five players recognized for their accomplishments in 2015. However, there's still the question of where outstanding 2015 performers like Carlos Dunlap, Reggie Nelson, and Andy Dalton were. In 2015, Dunlap ranked fourth in total sacks regardless of position with 13.5, Nelson ranked first in total interceptions with eight, and Dalton ranked second in quarterback rating (106.2) behind only Russell Wilson (110.1) for players with at least 45 pass attempts on the season.

Some players on the Bengals' 2015 roster may have been slighted from this list, but the fact that Bengals players took up nearly five percent of the entire list is a pretty good endorsement for the team's ability to find and cultivate talent. Here's to hoping these five players can come together with some of the new incoming talent and other returning players to reach their goal of finally winning a playoff game.