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Vikings likely to stay put

If anything, Minnesota may move down in draft

Knight Ridder Newspapers

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- As the Vikings' director of college scouting, Scott Studwell won't make the final call on any trades this weekend, and he said dealing up in the first round of the NFL draft is possible.

He just doesn't see the team packaging its two first-round selections -- Nos. 7 and 18 -- to do so.

"We've got a couple of players that we would certainly consider doing that (for),'' Studwell said Thursday, "but I think the likelihood of us doing it is remote.''

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Vikings vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski, who does have the final say on any trade, has said the team is as likely to move down as up in the first round and probably will stay put.

Studwell, who joined coach Mike Tice for a news conference at Winter Park, said that would be fine with him. "We like where we're at in the draft,'' he said.

Studwell and Tice said the Vikings are prepared to use the No. 7 selection on the best available player, regardless of position, but wide receiver and running back remain the most likely options.

Michigan receiver Braylon Edwards has been at the center of the Vikings' trade-up rumors and is regarded as a certain top-three selection. The Vikings likely could have their choice at seven, though, of Southern Cal receiver Mike Williams or South Carolina's speedy Troy Williamson, rising fast on some draft boards.

Whatever they end up doing, the Vikings want to make one thing clear:

"Whether we draft a receiver or not, we don't expect him to be Randy Moss because there's only one Randy Moss,'' Studwell said. "We're not looking to replace Randy; we're really not, because we can't.''

"If that's your goal for us in the draft,'' Tice added, "I suggest you spend the next two days changing your goals because that's not going to happen.''

The Vikings, who acquired the No. 7 selection in the March 2 trade that sent Moss to Oakland, could go the running back route instead. The question is, which of this year's Big Three backs -- Texas' Cedric Benson and the Auburn duo of Ronnie Brown and Carnell "Cadillac'' Williams -- will be available?

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Unlike some teams, the Vikings don't do a mock draft, but there's an unusual amount of uncertainty at the top this year, with many of the teams ahead of them reportedly willing to trade down.

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