Let me start by stating that I am hopeful that this Bengals team will turn this season after the bye week. Now I know many of you will laugh at me for saying that, but know that hopeful does not mean confident. With that being said, on this beautiful Saturday afternoon I find myself asking what the Bengals would do if they got a top 10 pick. So, let me ask a simple question: Marcus Lattimore or Manti Teo?
Lattimore would provide the offense with a quick and powerful back to help take the pressure off of Dalton and Green. With the Law Firm and Lattimore in the backfield, the running game could be unstoppable with guys like Leonard/Peerman playing ST's until they prove themselves. Lattimore can also catch out of the backfield which would help Dalton out tremendously. However, Lattimore comes with injury history and his durability is a concern. It's a hit or bust with this guy, IMO.
Manti Teo is an absolute beast at the MLB. Bengals fans such as myself are beginning to wonder how much longer this defense can survive with Maualuga in the Mike position. Vontaze Burfict has proven to be a quick, instinctive, and hard-hitting linebacker and he may get some looks at MLB in the offseason too. I've been screaming "BENGALS GET TEO" since I first saw him take the field at Notre Dame a few years ago. He is a great emotional leader, puts his guys in positions on defense, and steps up in big moments....basically everything Maualuga doesn't. The only knock that he would have coming into the NFL would be lining up as a MLB on day one. MLB is a HUGE position in any defense, even more in the NFL and coaches may be hesitant to line a rookie up at Mike. But if Zim and Lewis pull what they did with Maualuga/Burfict, moving them out of there positions as rookies, it may hurt his progress as a future MLB.
The draft is a long while away, and I hope the Bengals turn this season around starting with a HUGE run that carries into the postseason and onto New Orleans (See GreenBay Packers, New York Giants, etc). But, if you were in the war room come draft day, the Bengals are on the clock and these two players are still on the board (a likely scenario given the way this team has played so far) who would you take? Lattimore or Teo?