THE Winnipeg Blue Bombers' first pick in Monday's CFL entry draft says he'd be proud to be a Bomber, but only if he can't be a Green Bay Packer first.
Defensive lineman Andy Mulumba -- 6-4, 263, Eastern Michigan -- signed a contract with the Green Bay Packers late last month and will attend that club's rookie camp in the U.S. this weekend.
Only if things don't work out in Green Bay will Mulumba report to the Bombers, the Congo native told reporters in a conference call Monday afternoon.
Mulumba said he's "going to try to make the NFL first... and if that doesn't work, I'd be really proud to be a Blue Bomber...
"I already signed a contract with the Green Bay Packers. I want to try that first and we'll go from there."
Mulumba said he was "surprised" the Bombers selected him so high in the draft, given his contract status with the Packers. Mulumba confirmed he received a signing bonus from Green Bay, but he refused to say how much, and it's difficult to gauge the NFL team's interest in Mulumba without knowing how big his bonus was.
By taking Mulumba second overall in Monday's draft, Bombers management sent a clear message they don't think much of his chances of making the Packers roster.
Mulumba said he's already spoken with Bombers defensive co-ordinator Casey Creehan, who recruited and coached him at Eastern Michigan in 2009.
Mulumba said Creehan told him he would like him to lose about 10 pounds if he comes to Winnipeg so he can improve his quickness and pass-rush ability.
The Bombers would love it if Mulumba reports to training camp at the end of this month and takes over the defensive-end position vacated by the off-season departure of Jason Vega, who signed with the New England Patriots.
The strength of Mulumba's game, however, was against the run in college, and he admitted to reporters he will need to improve his pass-rushing ability if he's going to play in the pass-dominated CFL.
"I would have to improve my pass-rushing ability. I know I have to work on that a little bit more, and Casey Creehan says he is willing to help me to do that."
The Bombers surprised with their second-round draft pick, as they selected undersized defensive back Kris Robertson of Concordia with the 11th overall pick. Robertson, listed at what is reportedly a generous 5-9, wasn't anywhere near that high on any of the prominent pre-draft lists.