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Vikings Focus on Line of Scrimmage in Round 6

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —The Vikings on Saturday used a pair of picks acquired in draft swaps to address the offensive and defensive line, landing tackle Tyrus Thompson out of Oklahoma, and defensive lineman B.J. Dubose out of Louisville in the sixth round.

Thompson and Dubose were selected eight spots apart and are likely to line up across from each other in practices during the team's workout program and training camp.

Both said they are willing to play up and down the line of scrimmage. Thompson said he'd be willing to play either tackle or guard spot: "We haven't had that conversation yet, but I just know I've got to be prepared to play anywhere on the line."  

Dubose mentioned on a conference call with media that he lined up as a zero technique all the way out to a nine technique, "so I literally played everywhere on the defensive line."

The sixth rounders also have connections to other Vikings. Thompson received pointers from right tackle Phil Loadholt and previously met Adrian Peterson when the veterans made trips to their alma mater.

"I've talked to (Loadholt) in the past when he came out to OU," Thompson said. "Phil's a great guy. I know he will help me out a lot. He used to give us tips back when he used to come to the spring games. Now, I get to learn side by side with him.

"I met (Peterson) in my freshman year when he came up there to one of the spring games as well, a really cool guy, but I don't know him on a personal level," Thompson said. "I will get to soon. (Blocking for him) will be really exciting. That's the best running back in the league, so to have an opportunity to block for someone like that is great. It's crazy. I never thought I would in my lifetime, but here I am."

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said assistant offensive line coach worked out Thompson and other Oklahoma players.

"(Thompson) was a left tackle at Oklahoma, and we're projecting him to potentially be a swing tackle or also move inside to guard," Spielman said. "He's another guy that has great length, great size, and he's a very mature kid as you guys know - he's married with two children. We could project him inside as a guard as well. When Hank came back from the visit, we went through our meetings, he's extremely sharp, and felt that he could play multiple positions for us."

In addition to being a college teammate of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, they were teammates on the South Florida Express 7-on-7 passing league team, with Dubose catching some passes as a tight end and playing linebacker.    

"Me and Teddy have an awesome relationship," Dubose said. "He's one of the best guys I've been around. Really good at taking his work serious, film study, just overall loves the game and takes it serious."

Dubose started 20 of the 44 games he played, including all 13 in 2014 when he recorded a career-high 41 tackles, 4.0 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss.

"He was another guy that's a multi-position player," Spielman said. "He can play end, when you watch him inside, he can rush a passer as an inside guy and as a three technique. We had him here on a Top 30 visit," when the Vikings wanted to gather more information on him.

"I was at the Florida State game, and he really stuck out that night that I was down there," Spielman said. "But, he has good tape all around and he's another guy that has a lot of position flexibility that can play base end or slide inside as an inside nickel rusher."

Thompson started 29 of the 44 games he played for the Sooners and was named All-Big 12 first-team by the league's coaches in 2014 when he started all 13 games at left tackle and played through a Lisfranc injury.

He's entering the NFL with a unique background, a wife and two children. Thompson said people have kidded him in the past of living the "old man life" before he got married. He was born in Germany while his father was stationed there as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army. He said his wife also spent part of her youth in Germany while her mother was a sniper in the Army.

Thompson and his wife will celebrate their third wedding anniversary May 25.

"This means the world to me," Thompson said. "It gives me a chance to provide for my family and play the sport I love so much."

The Vikings tabbed Thompson out of Oklahoma with the 185th overall pick. The selection was obtained from Atlanta after the Vikings agreed to send the 137th overall pick to the Falcons in exchange for the sixth-round selection and the 146th overall spot from which Minnesota drafted receiver Stefon Diggs. Minnesota added defensive end Dubose with the 193rd overall pick, using a selection it obtained from Kansas City in a deal that moved the Chiefs from 80th to 76th overall in the

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