EDEN PRAIRIE (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings picked up a couple of short college stars with local ties.
The Vikings on Sunday took University of Minnesota safety Tyrone Carter with their second pick of the NFL draft's fourth round. They then used their fifth-round selection on Stanford wide receiver Troy Walters, the son of Vikings inside linebacker coach Trent Walters.
Carter, the NCAA's leading tackler among defensive backs, was passed by many teams because he is only 5-feet-9.
Coach Dennis Green said Carter, who returned punts and kickoffs for the Golden Gophers, will compete for playing time at both cornerback and safety but the Vikings liked Carter's potential to contribute on special teams.
''We think he'll be one of the most dynamic special teams players in the league,'' Green said. ''The more things you can do, the better chance you have to be on the field.
The only other Gopher drafted this weekend was running back Thomas Hamner, who went to Philadelphia in the sixth round.
In the fifth round, the Vikings took Walters, who is only 5-foot-7.
Walters won the 1999 Biletnikoff Award as the best college receiver, and Carter received the Jim Thorpe Award as the country's best defensive back.
Both fell to the draft's second day because of their height, but the Vikings had no reservations.
''What we knew was that other people were going to take them,'' Green said. ''We were fortunate enough to get Tyrone Carter before other people took him, and we were fortunate enough to take Troy.
''Both of those guys, you just watch them compete. You are getting players who know how to win and know how to be successful.''
With the first pick of the afternoon, the Vikings took linbacker Antonio Wilson, a former track star who played at Division II Texas A&M-Commerce.
He's not the first Lions alum named Wilson to join the Vikings. Former Vikings quarterback Wade Wilson played at the school in the late 1970s when it was called East Texas State.
The 6-foot-2, 245-pound Wilson, a consensus Division II first-team All-American and the Lone Star Conference's Defensive Lineman of the Year, said he didn't think playing at a small college put him at a disadvantage.
''I thought I'd be higher, but it really didn't matter,'' Wilson said. ''I'm going to go in and compete. Football is the same everywhere.''
With their three seventh-round picks, the Vikings picked San Diego State center Mike Malano, Texas A&M-Kingsville tight end Giles Cole and South Carolina State offensive lineman Lewis Kelly.
Chris Hovan, the 6-foot-3, 305-pound All-American from Boston College, became the Vikings' top pick Saturday in their defensive-minded draft.
''We really think that Chris fits in exactly what we need,'' Green said Sunday. ''He is a guy who works hard, and he gets quick off the line of scrimmage.''
Hovan, who can play three positions on the defensive line, said he's not picky about what his role will be on the team. He's just grateful for the opportunity to play in the NFL.
''Wherever coach Green feels I should play, that's where I'm going to play,'' Hovan said.
In the second round, the Vikings also moved to improve their defensive line, selecting Wake Forest defensive tackle Fred Robbins (6-foot-4, 312 pounds) and Miami defensive end Michael Boireau. Minnesota must replace defensive ends Duane Clemons, who left for Kansas City, and Chris Doleman, who retired. The pair had 17 sacks between them.
''These are three guys who want to play,'' Green said. ''Competition is always good.''
Green said the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Boireau would have been a hotter commodity in the draft had he played more with the Hurricanes. Boireau played two seasons at Northeast Mississippi Junior College before transferring to Miami, where he started just one season.
''He is a guy that charges very quickly and has a tremendous amount of height,'' Green said, noting Boireau can play both defensive end spots.
Boireau said he knows he'll have to bulk up for the NFL. ''I don't want to be too light in the behind,'' Boireau said.
The only offensive player the Vikings picked among their first seven selections was running back Doug Chapman of Marshall, who was taken in the third round.
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