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Moritz Boehringer Going from Unicorn to Vikings Gjallarhorn

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Sound the Gjallarhorn.

Moritz Boehringer is no longer a Unicorn.

The Vikings went global in the sixth round, selecting the German-born receiver Boehringer with the 180th overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Boehringer (6-foot-4, 229 pounds) became the first to be drafted by an NFL team directly from a European team and sparked widespread reactions across the web.

He's been an avid Vikings fan since watching online highlight videos of 2007 first-round pick Adrian Peterson as a 17-year-old.

Now 22, Boehringer first tried "Competitive American Football" in 2013 and excelled.

He played two seasons (2013-14) for the Crailsheim Titans, totaling 94 catches for 2,866 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Boehringer played for the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns in 2015 and recorded 70 receptions for 1,461 yards and 16 touchdowns to earn German Football League 2015 Rookie of the Year honors.

Boehringer turned in a strong pro day performance at Florida Atlantic this spring, running the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds. He also had a vertical of 39 inches, a 10-foot-11 broad jump, a 4.10-second short shuttle, an 11.15-second 60-yard shuttle, and a 6.65-second three-cone drill reported by Andy Fenelon for NFL.com.

Earlier in the day, Boehringer was a guest on the set of NFL Network's broadcast from Chicago. He mentioned that the Vikings are his favorite team because of the Peterson videos and the way they introduced him to football.

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said: "Is there one particular team that paid more attention to you than anybody else?"

Boehringer: "The Vikings did."

Mayock: "Well, I'm pretty good friends with their head coach and their GM so I'm going to send a text. Zimmer likes big football players at every position, so we're going to work on that for you. Mike Zimmer, Rick Spielman, we've got "MoBo" sitting right here with us. He's 6-4, 230-something, couldn't be a nicer guy, well-spoken … he ran 4.43. Let's hear his name come off [the board]."

Zimmer then phoned into Mayock.

After his selection, Boehringer revisited the set and was floating with emotions.

"I don't need a chair right now," Boehringer said. "It's overwhelming."

Zimmer later appeared on NFL Team Cam and told Mayock and Rich Eisen that Boehringer had been on the Vikings watch list for a considerable amount of time. Boehringer was one of 30 prospects the Vikings hosted at Winter Park for the team's Top 30 event earlier this month.

Zimmer said he talked to one of his mentors, Hall of Fame Coach Bill Parcells about some of Boehringer's athletic abilities.

"We've talked about this for quite a while. It was really a fun story, and that's kind of what the draft is all about, making dreams come true," Zimmer said. Boehringer said during a conference call with Twin Cities media members that he visited Minnesota last fall to attend the Golden Gophers game against TCU.

During the Top 30 visit earlier this month, the Vikings personnel and coaching departments talked Xs and Os as well as other items with Boeringer and other visiting prospects.

"We get to know them as people, ask them a lot of tough questions," Zimmer explained to Eisen and Mayock. "It's a good process and gives us a chance to know the players a little more than at the combine or the Senior Bowl."

Zimmer said watching Boehringer's reaction was "really kind of cool … just seeing how happy he was."

"Like I said earlier, it's really about making dreams come true and a chance for anybody in the world, if they have the right ability to play professional football and realize their dream," Zimmer said. "It was funny, but it was also a really touching moment as Mike [Mayock] said earlier."

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