Free agent departures left the Minnesota Vikings thin at defensive end and running back, and with their two third-round picks on Friday they added some depth at those spots. With the 72nd overall pick Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton was the choice, and at No. 96 Georgia Southern running back Jerick McKinnon became the newest Viking.
Crichton was a three-year starter for the Beavers, with 22.5 sacks and 51 tackles for loss in that time. He compares favorably to new teammate Brian Robison, with a solid all-around skill set and a high motor but without elite athleticism. Crichton should step right in as Minnesota’s third defensive behind Robison and Everson Griffen, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see all three on the field in some passing situations.
McKinnon was an option quarterback at Georgia Southern, but he is absolutely a running back and an excellent showing at the NFL Combine had his draft stock on the rise. The Vikings lost Toby Gerhart to Jacksonville in free agency, so the need to add depth behind Adrian Peterson is there on some level, but McKinnon is limited as a pass catcher (10 receptions in college) and if a running back was to be added during the draft someone with a more diverse skill set would have been a better fit.
The Vikings still have depth concerns in the secondary and a talent concern at offensive guard, which will now both have to wait until the draft’s final day to be addressed. The addition of Crichton is justified with Jared Allen gone, but McKinnon was not a good value pick and if he was the top running back on Minnesota’s draft board at the end of the third round they should have waited to add someone to their backfield mix.