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Vikings' draft gets mixed reviews from area fans

The Minnesota Vikings had numerous options with their two first-round picks, No. 7 and No. 18, in the NFL draft. The Vikings' decisions triggered a variety of responses from approximately 160 fans at Tailgators' seventh annual NFL draft party Sat...

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The Minnesota Vikings had numerous options with their two first-round picks, No. 7 and No. 18, in the NFL draft.

The Vikings' decisions triggered a variety of responses from approximately 160 fans at Tailgators' seventh annual NFL draft party Saturday.

The Vikings selected South Carolina wide receiver Troy Williamson with the No. 7 pick in the draft, pitting co-workers Mike Ehresmann of Moorhead and Dave Rask of Fargo against each other in a light-hearted dispute.

"It made a lot of sense to me," Ehresmann said. "I figured they need a wide receiver."

"I think they should have taken (USC receiver Mike) Williams," Rask added. "You never know, though."

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Many prognosticators, including ESPN.com, had the Vikings taking Williams with the No. 7 pick. ESPN opened its coverage of the draft suggesting the Vikings may trade up to get the first pick, but nothing materialized.

"I think that would have been a stupid move," Ehresmann said. "This draft didn't have any marquee players. I would have traded down."

Steve Pris of Fargo said he liked the Vikings' choice with their second first-round pick, Wisconsin defensive end Erasmus James. He didn't think the team selected Williamson in the right spot.

"I'm not too happy with the first pick," Pris said. "They could have traded down and got Williamson."

The Vikings drafted William-son to help fill the void left when they traded five-time Pro Bowl receiver Randy Moss last month.

Pris, sporting a Minnesota Vikings' No. 84 Moss jersey, wasn't pleased with the team's dealing of Moss.

"They didn't get enough," Pris said. "But they're still sitting good."

Minnesota traded Moss to the Oakland Raiders for linebacker Napoleon Harris and two draft picks, including the No. 7 pick which the Vikings used to draft Williamson.

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Minnesota has made a number of acquisitions this offseason to bolster its defense, signing potential starters in cornerback Fred Smoot, safety Darren Sharper, defensive tackle Pat Williams and trading for linebacker Sam Cowart.

Despite disagreeing on the Vikings' use of their first draft pick, Rask and Ehresmann agreed the team should vie for the playoffs ... and more.

"They should be more balanced," Rask said. "They'll make the playoffs."

"I think it works out really well," Ehresmann added. "The offense should still be productive. They should be considered Super Bowl contenders."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558

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