CHARLOTTE, N.C.- It’s been three months since the Panthers picked Taylor Moton in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and while he doesn’t relive the moment often, his parents do.
“My parents told me they watch it almost every day. At least once or twice a day they look back at how happy I was, and how happy the whole family was,” Moton said.
Prior to training camp, he was soaking in those same feelings in Charlotte.
“I’ve never really lived in a big city before, so it’s a pretty awesome experience,” Moton said as he walked around Uptown.
His uncle is a Panthers season ticket holder who lives in Gastonia, so Moton had visited North Carolina. But never quite as much as he’s gotten to explore now.
After his interview with NBC Charlotte, Moton walked over to a food truck for an Acai bowl. It’s a simple walk for him, but these days he does a good bit of driving too.
Shortly after he was drafted, the Panthers tackle traded in his 2001 Ford F-150 for a 2017 Escalade.
“It was always my dream car when I was a kid,” Moton said.
It was his first big purchase after the draft, and now he’s working hard to cash in on all his goals.
“Just to work hard, and be a better player than I was yesterday,” Moton said.
Because at the end of the day, this 6-foot-5 tackle from Western Michigan is playing for something and someone bigger than football.
“My grandfather," he said. "I lost my birth father when I was really young, so up until my stepdad, he was really my father figure growing up. Never missed a game. Football was big in his life. I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to make him proud."