Geno Atkins was one of four defensive tackles to make the list. He joins Fletcher Cox, Aaron Donald, and Ndamukong Suh at that position as a part of the defensive portion of the list.
Atkins was the clear best choice out of any current and former Bengals to receive this honor. A.J. Green and Andrew Whitworth have compelling cases at their respective positions, but Atkins’ is just one of five defensive tackles with multiple All-Pro First Team honors (two) since 2010. He has the most career sacks (75.5) out of that group as well.
In just his third season in 2012, Atkins had a monstrous pass-rushing season that hadn’t been seen before from a 3-technique at the time. Pro Football Focus charted him with 78 pressures that year, and it set the standard that guys like Donald and Cox have come to meet in the years since.
Atkins raised the bar at his position and has been consistently productive at it since he came into the league at the very beginning of the this past decade. The vast majority of the players to make this list will one day end up in the Hall of Fame; expect Atkins to be one of them.