PROS: Has a nice first step and able to push the pocket and shoot gaps to make plays in the backfield. Has a nice motor and capable in pursuit. Can work down the line laterally and shows good closing burst on the ball. Shows good potential as a bull rusher, and has strong upper and lower body to drive blockers into the backfield.
CONS: There are concerns about his conditioning and focus and has a tendency to wear down late in games. Not great when lined up over the nose, relying on quickness instead of power to beat center.
OVERVIEW: He had an up and down career at Georgia, but has the upside to be a top NFL player. Had a breakout sophomore year where he had 7.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss despite only starting 7 games. Had a disappointing junior year with only 7.5 tackles for loss and no sacks, despite starting every game. Only started 3 games as a senior, as the coaches decided he'd be best coming off the bench in the rotation. Rebounded with 3 sacks and 10.5 TFLs.
NFL FORECAST: The concern with Atkins is whether or not he's productive because his snaps are limited, and whether he can provide that same ability when he's working a full workload. I think he can, but at the start he should definitely be coming off the bench. He plays both the 3-technique and nose, and I think he has the ability to excel at the latter, although he is probably a bit more developed at the former currently. He's a guy that won't be a top pass rusher, but gives good effort there in limited snaps and can pressure the quarterback. He can also play the run well. WHen you watch him play, you can't help but be impressed. But you just wonder if he can give you that same ability if he's playing 30-50 snaps per game week in and week out. If he cannot, then he'll be a career backup. I think a good one, but a guy coaches can't trust as a true starter.
ATL FORECAST: Atkins fits well in Atlanta because he can play either tackle technique. He would be a good depth addition and could probably come in immediately and contribute as a No. 3 tackle for the team. He has the upside, but I'm not sure he'd really get the opportunity to be a starter in Atlanta unless the team soured on Jerry (due to durability) at some point in the future. He'd make a nice insurance policy and at least would have the time to develop into a more consistent player.
VALUE: In terms of his potential, he's a nice second round talent. But because of concerns over whether he can be a full-time starter, I'd probably wait until the mid-to-late part of Round 3 to take him.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 3.0
PASS RUSH: 3.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.