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Presser Points: Spielman Notices Zimmer's 'Disney Moment'

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —The curtains have closed on the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Vikings drafted eight players from Thursday to Saturday, and will bring in a handful of undrafted free agents for the team's rookie minicamp next weekend at Winter Park.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman spoke to Twin Cities media members Saturday evening at the culmination of the draft.

While Spielman offered a wide range of thoughts, here are five key takeaways from his post-draft press conference:

Zimmer sentimental?

Perhaps the feel-good story of the draft was Minnesota's sixth-round selection of German wide receiver Moritz Boehringer, an unknown commodity to many in the football world.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer appeared on NFL Network and praised Boehringer's skills but also said the draft is about "making dreams come true."

Spielman poked fun at the normally intense Zimmer during his press conference.

"I was like, 'Zim,' you sound like a Disney advertisement,' " Spielman cracked. "But (Boehringer) was on our board pretty high and we drafted him because of what he is as a football player and what we project him to potentially be."

The Brother(s) connection

Missouri linebacker Kentrell Brothers was tabbed by the Vikings in the fifth round of the draft. He posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.82 seconds at the combine, which didn't rank among the fastest at that position.

Spielman didn't have a problem with Brothers' speed, saying he never got beat to the sideline during game action.

Spielman said he also knows something about linebackers viewed to be slower, as he mentioned his brother, Chris.

"The number one thing from a linebacker standpoint is that guys that sometimes are a little slower in a 40, and I have a sibling that was probably a little slower in the 40 than he even wanted to admit, but I've never seen that guy get beat to the sideline," Spielman said. "I've seen the range that that kid plays with, he plays a lot faster, because he is so instinctive and gets a jump on the ball."

All together now

The 2016 draft was the third with Zimmer and his coaching staff at the helm. As the continuity has grown, Spielman said he feels comfortable with what players the coaching staff has targeted.

"Right now we can probably draft without those guys in room knowing exactly what they are going to like and not like," Spielman said. "That is just having the opportunity to work together."

An offensive focus

Minnesota has built one of the league's toughest defenses over the past two years as they've used 11 total picks on defense.

Although that helped the Vikings rank fifth in 2015 with 18.9 points allowed per game, Spielman admitted there was more of an offensive focus this time around.

The Vikings used half of their eight picks on two wide receivers, a tight end and an offensive lineman, helping add tools for quarterback Stefon Diggs.

"Because we have addressed the defense pretty heavily over the past two years and — those guys are contributing to help us win games — we focused a little bit more on the offensive side of the ball to help our young quarterback," Spielman said.

Rising to the moment

Spielman noted there was a chance that fourth-round pick Danielle Hunter projects as a guard after he played tackle in college.

The Vikings were impressed with Beavers, who came from a smaller school but held his own against top-level competition. Beavers said during a conference call that it had been a dream to play in the Big Ten but was left out when Illinois oversigned. He made the most of his time at Western Michigan, with Spielman mentioning taking note of Beavers' games against Ohio State and Michigan State.

"I imagine our coaches will probably line him up inside first, but he also has the ability to potentially play outside because probably his best games this year were against Ohio State and Michigan State as a left tackle," Spielman said.

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