Mobile, Ala. — For the second consecutive year, Western Michigan is represented by an offensive tackle at the Senior Bowl.
In 2016, it was Willie Beavers, who was ultimately selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of the draft. This year it’s Taylor Moton, a four-year starter who split his time between right tackle and guard.
Beavers had a less than ideal rookie campaign. He was cut after training camp, eventually re-added to the Vikings roster, but appeared in only two games. Moton is widely viewed as a better talent than his former teammate. CBS Sports ranks him as the 63rd best prospect in this class and most analysts expect him to be selected at some point during the second day of the draft.
During the first Senior Bowl practice the 6-foot-5, 330-pound Moton worked at right tackle, where he played for the Broncos last year. But he’s open to returning to guard, if that’s what an NFL team feels is his best fit.
“It does not matter to me,” Moton said. “I just want whatever will get me on the field. Wherever I can start, I just want to contribute to a team wherever I can.”
Moton quietly played a big role in the Broncos’ breakout season, a 13-1 campaign that saw the school go undefeated during the regular season to earn a trip to the Cotton Bowl. You don’t rack up nearly 500 yards per game with subpar blocking and Moton was the team’s best lineman.
Not bad, considering Western went 1-11 in 2013, his first year as a starter.
“It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Moton said. “From seeing we were probably the worst team in the conference to being the best team, undefeated, with the whole community, the Kalamazoo community getting behind us. Even my hometown of Lansing, that far out, were taking awareness of what we were doing. Billboards were everywhere. It was really awesome to be part of a special program.”
Even with coach P.J. Fleck taking over at Minnesota this offseason, Moton is optimistic the Broncos can keep the momentum going.
“I’m very confident,” Moton said. “I’ve not met (new coach) Tim Lester yet, but I have the most confidence in the world. I’ve heard great things about him and I’m excited to see how they do.”