CHARLOTTE - The Panthers closed out the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft by selecting Taylor Moton, a four-year starter on the right side of Western Michigan's offensive line, with the 64th overall pick.
"It's one of the best moments of my life," Moton said in a conference call from his Lansing, Mich., home. "A dream come true. It's a truly awesome experience."
Moton is expected to compete at right tackle and add depth to a tackle group that includes free agent prize Matt Kalil, veteran Michael Oher and 2015 draft pick Daryl Williams. Moton also could pitch in at guard. The 6-foot-5, 319-pounder started his first two college seasons and his senior season at right tackle, in addition to starting at right guard as a junior.
"He's going to give us some position flexibility," head coach Ron Rivera said. "He most certainly will have an opportunity to play both tackle and guard. The primary position to start off is tackle, and he'll give us depth there. We'll move him, work him on both sides and how he fits for us to give us added depth."
General manager Dave Gettleman was thrilled that Moton, who started a school-record 52 games at Western Michigan, was still available as the second round drew to a close.
"Taylor, that's a heck of a pick at the bottom of the second round," Gettleman said. "That's a big-ole' powerful, tough hog molly who is smarter than this entire room. It's about value, and he's a great value there."
Moton, for his part, plans to prove that he's worth it and then some.
"I'll come in, work hard every day, just do whatever I can to make the team better," he said. "I'm pretty solid with pass protection and run protection, run blocking. I feel like I'm someone the offense can count on, the whole team can count on.
"Be the best player I can be - that's all I can control. Just be better than I was the day before."
View photos of the Carolina Panthers' second-round draft pick Taylor Moton.