After falling to the Vikings in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Scott Crichton logged just 17 snaps on the season. Although he battled injuries throughout last year's offseason program, rumors swirled that Mike Zimmer wasn't happy with the rookie. Now entering his second year, Crichton is bigger, hungrier, and more confident. After Rick Spielman publicly endorsed the Oregon State product, optimism within the Vikings fan base began to gain steam, and at this point he is fully expected to be a contributor for the 2015-16 season.
When the pick was announced, I was a big fan of it. Initially thought to be a late first or early second round draft pick, the Vikings' pick of Crichton in the third round was thought to be a steal at the time by many, including myself. As a self-proclaimed draft geek, I have watched a substantial amount of film on prospects over the last few years, including Crichton. While I do still have my original scouting report on him, I decided to scratch all of it and re-scout him with the mindset that I have never seen him play a down before, in order to give a fresher and more conscious breakdown for this article. I went back and re-watched his games against UCLA, Stanford, Boise State and Utah and came away very impressed. In this article, I will list Crichton's collegiate stats, measurements, combine results, and provide a thorough breakdown with GIFs that illustrate my points. Enjoy.
|Tackles||Tackles for a Loss||Sacks||Passes Defended||Forced Fumbles|
(Stats are via sports-reference.com)
Statistically speaking, Crichton was solid each of his three years at Oregon State. Despite his decline in tackles, Crichton was able to improve his tackles for loss each year while also posting above 6.0 sacks. Forcing 10 fumbles over a 3 year span is very good as well, and his 9 passes defended show he can bat down passes at the line, which is a skill that usually translates to the NFL.
Weight: 273 lbs
Arm Length: 32 3/4''
Hand Size: 10 1/8''
(Measurements are via NFL.com)
These are pretty typical numbers for a 4-3 defensive end. While his height could be better, it isn't a problem as 6'3'' is a pretty average height for his position. The ideal weight for a 4-3 defensive end is around 265 lbs, as that gives them the ability to combat offensive tackles and tight ends in the run game. Crichton meets the criteria here, as he has prototypical weight for the position. He also has has solid arm length and big hands. I found it quite interesting that Crichton's height and weight are actually identical to what NFL.com lists Everson Griffen's height and weight as, and they also have very similar arm length, with Everson Griffen possessing slightly shorter arms that were measured at 32 5/8''.
40 Yard Dash: 4.84 seconds
Bench Press: 24 Reps
Vertical Jump: 31.5''
Broad Jump: 9'
3-Cone Drill: 7.19 seconds
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.29 seconds
(Combine results are via NFL.com)
Athletically, Crichton is pretty average outside of the 20 yard shuttle time, which is very good for a man of his size. If any drill result listed above is concerning, it would be his broad jump of only 9 feet. The broad jump typically reflects a players' explosion, with a shorter jump indicating less explosion. However, on film there were plenty of times that Crichton flashed plenty of explosion, so I wouldn't look into this too much.
Ah, now for the fun part. For those of you who didn't follow my previous work with The Viking Age, I typically break down players with a + and - list, naturally with a "+" indicating a positive and a "-" indicating a negative. Here we go:
+ Boasts a compact and muscular frame. Looks like an NFL defensive end.
+ Shows a good amount of power especially when he has good hand placement. At times shows off a dominating bull rush. ( See GIF 1)
+ Uses hands very well to toss linemen around as a pass rusher. Excels at deflecting O-linemen hands that are attempting to latch onto him. Uses a mix of strength and great hand timing to get around O-linemen. ( See GIF 1)
+ Quick off the snap and can sometimes, but not consistently, get the edge on offensive tackles.
+ Sets the edge most of the time and is disciplined in run defense. Will get off blocks in the run game and make a living in the backfield. Rarely plays off balance and is a solid tackler. (See GIF 2)
+ When positioned well, he will attempt to knock the ball out of a ball carrier's hands, but only when he knows the tackle is assured. Rarely will he miss a tackle because he tried to strip. This type of discipline is normally only present among NFL veterans. (See GIF 3)
+ High-motor player who will play until the whistle blows. He often times makes a late play due to his hustle. Plays with an "I want to win at all costs" attitude.
- If mirrored successfully by an offensive lineman on a pass rush, he often times finds himself fighting to keep the O-lineman's hands off him but doesn't make any real progress towards the quarterback. In other words, he lacks an arsenal of counter moves. (See GIF 4)
- Rarely makes a play versus a double team. Lack of elite athleticism is a culprit here.
- Can be moved by bigger offensive linemen in the run game, as he gets caught playing with too high of a pad-level at times.
- Lack of elite speed can hurt him at times in the run game, especially when he's attempting to catch the back from behind.
- Hips can be a bit stiff at times, which can sometimes prevent him from turning the corner successfully at full speed. (See GIF 5)
All in all, Scott Crichton was a very good and at times dominating collegiate player. Unfortunately he didn't get a chance to show us whether or not these skills were able to translate to the NFL during his rookie year, but under the watchful eye of Mike Zimmer it shouldn't surprise anyone if he plays a big role this upcoming year and eventually takes over for the declining Brian Robison.
Thank you all for reading. Leave your thoughts below and don't forget to follow me on twitter @JMcIntireNFL.