After the loss of Jared Allen this offseason, the Minnesota Vikings knew they’d be targeting some defensive end depth during the 2014 NFL Draft. They did just that in the third round, selecting Oregon State pass rusher Scott Crichton with the No. 72 overall pick.
Even with Everson Griffen and Brian Robison locked in as the starting defensive ends, the Vikings learned from the Seattle Seahawks this past season that depth along the defensive line is invaluable. While Crichton certainly doesn’t stand a chance of supplanting either as a starter, his value as a pass-rush specialist will definitely come in handy in 2015.
With Crichton, the Vikings are getting a high-motor player who simply never gives up. Whether he’s rushing the passer, wrestling in the running lanes or running down a screen pass, Crichton can always be found hustling. He’s very aware of the play as it develops, and does a great job of battling his way to the football.
Above all, he’s an explosive edge rusher who uses excellent burst and flexibility to turn the corner and get to the quarterback. Sacking the quarterback is his specialty, and he’s freakishly good at it.
Unfortunately, he still needs some work as a run defender, especially when it comes to battling against bigger offensive linemen. However, if he can find a role as a pass-rush specialist as a rookie, the Vikings can develop him into a well-rounded defensive end over the next year or two. That’s what an NFL weight room is for.
More than anything, the Vikings get plenty of value with Crichton. Many considered him a fringe first-round talent, and Minnesota managed to nab him at the top of the third round. He can contribute immediately, with the potential to develop into an above-average starter. Sounds like terrific potential returns from a Day 2 pick.
Another excellent addition by GM Rick Spielman and the Vikings, who are putting together yet another outstanding draft.