When a player is taken in the NFL draft, the first questions from reporters typically lean toward injuries, strengths, weaknesses and what role he could fill with the team. The questioning for fourth-round running back Mewelde Moore of Tulane centered on one topic early – baseball.
Moore, whose pick was acquired Saturday as part of the Vikings moving down one selection in the first round, was signed by the San Diego Padres coming out of high school and given a $250,000 signing bonus. He spent the last three summers as an outfielder in the Padres organization, but his heart clearly was with football.
"I'm a Viking," Moore told VU when posed the question about potentially being a two-sport athlete. "I'm purple and gold. I bleed purple. Here is where I want to be."
Moore said as a child he didn't dream of a baseball career, he dreamed of being the next Walter Payton. Football was always his dream and he made the most of his options. A versatile runner and receiver, Moore became just the second running back in Division I history to rush for more than 4,000 yards and have more than 2,000 receiving yards in his career. The other? Former Vikings first-round pick Darrin Nelson.
But, unlike Nelson, who was brought in to start immediately, Moore is coming into a team that is loaded at running back with Michael Bennett as the lead back, Onterrio Smith as the second line of offense, and Moe Williams. Carving out his own niche is what is foremost in Moore's mind.
"I'm in a unique situation," Moore said. "I might get a chance to do a little bit of everything. We'll see. I think they'll have me on special teams and I want to help the team as much as I possibly can. I can't tell you exactly what they want or will ask of me. Whatever it is, I'm going to do it wholeheartedly and at full speed."
And along the way, have all future questions asked of him be about football instead of baseball.
Mewelde's Passion Is Football
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