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Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Geno Atkins, DT, Georgia

[Remember to check the '2010 NFL Draft' section for all stories relating to the draft.]

We have already looked at a number of defensive tackles during our Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile series. Today, we look at another one in what is likely a very deep draft class at that critical position.

Geno Atkins of Georgia.

Atkins is a slightly under-sized player at 6-foot-1, 290 pounds who gave highly-regarded Mike Iupati fits at the Senior Bowl and has tested well in off-season workouts.

Atkins, however, is a guy who did not play as well the past two seasons as he did during a monster sophomore campaign. He also has a reputation for not being a great run defender, which has to be scary for Giants fans.

Anyway, let's take a closer look.

Geno Atkins Scouting Reports

From the National Football Post.

Atkins is quick off the snap and does a great job getting under offensive linemen and driving them into the backfield. He has a strong lower base and exhibits natural leverage on the bull-rush. ... He lacks the type of size and overall strength to consistently fight his way through the double-team. He can be easily sealed from the ball vs. any type of additional attention. He lacks overall girth and will get washed out of run plays when taking on the double-team at the point of attack.

He's undersized and scheme-limited as a starter at the next level, but should be able to eventually develop into an ideal penetrating lineman in a one-gap scheme.

From SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.

After a strong sophomore season where it appeared that he would be the next big thing in the SEC, Atkins totaled less than half the sacks from 2007 in his junior and senior years combined. While he played within a system that favored rotations, Atkins never took his performance to the next level. There were several effort and motor concerns with him at Georgia, and without the top tier physical package, that will be an issue in the NFL. However without any prior knowledge of him, one would think he could be a second round player after watching his performance at the Senior Bowl, as he was the one defensive lineman that gave Idaho guard Mike Iupati a fit on the field. His ability to penetrate a gap and free himself up in the backfield is something every defense wants. He will not get much bigger physically and his role at the next level will be limited, but he can be important piece to a strong unit if he remains focused. He will likely be a middle round option and especially attractive to the Tampa-2 defenses.

From Draft Countdown.

Very athletic ... Explosive and quick off the snap ... Fast with a burst to close ... Nimble feet ... Is strong and surprisingly powerful ... Can penetrate and make plays in the backfield ... Displays great mobility and range ... Does a nice job in pursuit.

Undersized and lacks the ideal bulk you look for ... Is not stout at the point of attack ... Will never be a great run defender ... Has trouble taking on and shedding blockers ... Mediocre tackler ... Stamina may be an issue.

A better prospect than his statistics might lead you to believe ... A classic one-gapper whose best fit will most likely come as a three-technique in a 4-3 front.

Why Atkins fits with the Giants

As part of a rotation, Atkins might fit as an athletic, pass-rushing defensive tackle. There are questions about all of the Giants current defensive tackles, and in my opinion they have to add at least someone to the mix for the sake of at least bringing in competition for Rocky Bernard. In the middle to late rounds, Atkins might be worth a shot.

Why the Giants should pass

A defensive tackle who isn't stout against the run? Isn't that the first, and most important, job for a defensive tackle? And didn't we see enough crappy run defense in 2009? The Giants need defensive tackles who can control the line of scrimmage, and I'm not sure Atkins is that type of player.

(E-mail Ed at Follow Big Blue View on Twitter.)