Panthers pick WMU's Taylor Moton in second round
Western Michigan tackle Taylor Moton had his named called with the final pick of the second round Friday night, learning he would soon be blocking for Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers.
Moton, a 6-foot-5, 330-pound tackle, helped the Broncos average 41.6 points on the way to winning the Mid-American Conference championship and a Cotton Bowl appearance, finishing with a 13-1 record and No. 15 national ranking.
Fans can start calling Western Michigan “Linemen U” after Moton became the second Broncos’ offensive linemen in as many years to get drafted. Tackle Willie Beavers (Southfield-Lathrup) was drafted in the fourth round by the Vikings last season.
Lindy’s Pro Football Draft publication has WMU left tackle Chukwuma Okorafor (Southfield) as its 10th ranked senior for next year’s draft which would put him on pace to become a first-round pick — like Broncos receiver Corey Davis was Thursday night, picked No. 5 overall by Tennessee.
Moton was a first-team All-MAC performer this season, as was Okorafor.
Moton watched the draft from back home in Okemos, hoping his name would be called during Day No. 2 of the draft, which includes rounds 2 and 3.
“I watched it with my parents and had close friends and family over,” Moton said just prior to the second-round. “It’s exciting, a little nervous since it’s out of my control, but more than anything I’m just excited to see where I end up.”
And of being a part of a WMU offensive line headed to the NFL?
“I take a lot of pride in it, being a Bronco in general, especially on the offensive line with some of my best friends now, people I’ve played next to,” Moton said. “It was awesome to see Corey (Davis go No. 5). I had nothing but joy and excitement for him and can’t wait to see what he does at the next level. It’s very deserving of him.”
It was the first time two Broncos were picked in the first two rounds of the draft.
Moton was recruited by former WMU head coach Bill Cubit, red-shirted his freshman year before playing tackle his first two seasons, then moving to guard his junior year before playing tackle again as a senior, starting a school-record 52 games.
Moton was on the watch list for the Outland Trophy that goes to college football’s top interior lineman, earned second-team All-American honors by the Football Writers Association of America and played his usual right tackle position in the Senior Bowl in January to grab the attention of general managers and coaches.
Obviously, Moton got their attention.