Spotlight: Geno Atkins' Path to the NFL Draft

Georgia DL Geno Atkins was one of the big winners at the NFL Combine. He showed up with an additional 10 pounds of muscle on his 6-foot-1 frame and posted some of the best numbers in his position group. He takes us inside his Indy experience as we follow along his journey to the NFL Draft.

Geno Atkins established himself as a disruptive interior defender for the Bulldogs. He recorded 111 tackles, 33 TFLs and 10.5 sacks between 2007-2009 and looks to keep wreaking havoc on the next level.

Atkins allows us to follow his journey to the NFL Draft via this series of semiweekly interviews. To see Atkins' first interview, click here.

Michael Lombardo: Talk about your experience at the NFL Combine. How did that whole event go for you?

Geno Atkins: It went very well for me. I think I did pretty good in all the drills I did. My interviews went well. Just doing [the Combine] was another good experience, you know? Especially with all the physical stuff, being checked by all 32 teams and making sure that you're healthy. The real neat thing about the Combine is not just doing all the drills, but also making a good impression on the GMs and assistant coaches and head coaches.

ML: Let's start by talking about the drills. How do you feel about your results?

GA: I think I did well in the 40, the bench press and my position drills. I got a 34 in the bench press and a 4.75 in the 40.

DL Geno Atkins
Scott Boehm/Getty
ML: Are there any workout numbers you'll aim to improve at your Pro Day?

GA: No, I actually think I did it all at the Combine. For my Pro Day, I think I'll just be doing position drills.

ML: Now, on to the interview process. How did that portion of the Combine go and who were some of the teams you had formal interviews with?

GA: The interviews went pretty good. I only had one official meeting, which was with the Colts, but I went downstairs [at Lucas Oil Stadium] and had a group session where a lot of the assistant coaches were. I talked to a lot of teams down there.

ML: Did you notice any trends among the teams that showed the most interest in you? Was it mostly teams that run a 4-3 or a 3-4?

GA: It was a mix, really. I talked to 4-3 teams and then 3-4 teams.

ML: What have you talked about with teams that run the 3-4 scheme?

GA: They asked me questions about the defense we ran at Georgia. They also talked about what the ends would do in a 3-4 and what their responsibilities would be. A D-end [in a 3-4] would be like a 3-technique in a 4-3.

ML: Talk about the performance of Georgia teammate Jeff Owens in Indianapolis, as he put up an incredible 44 reps on the bench press. How much did it help to have him there to share this experience?

GA: He did really well. He and I were pumping each other up and giving each other praise and confidence. It was good to have a teammate there for moral support.

ML: What will you remember most from your Combine experience?

GA: Just meeting the players from other conferences and other teams, building friendships and getting to know them. That'll be what I remember most.

ML: With the Combine over and done with, what's on your horizon?

GA: My Pro Day is March 16, so I'm getting ready for that and focusing on my position drills. I'm just doing the basic stuff that I used to do at Georgia, so doing bag drills and working on my technique and fundamentals and stuff like that.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.

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