2014 NFL Draft: Packers select Scott Crichton

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Scott Crichton
Defensive End, Oregon State University

Sep 7, 2013; Corvallis, OR, USA; Oregon State Beavers defensive end Scott Crichton (95) pushes around Hawaii Warriors offensive linesman David Griffin (72) at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Overall Player Evaluation
As one of the premiere defensive ends in the PAC-12, Crichton made his presence felt early on in his Oregon State career, recording 74 total tackles (48 solo, 26 assisted), 14.5 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks as a true freshman. In his sophomore season, Crichton looked even more impressive, sacking opposing QBs 9.0 times and tackling ball carriers in the backfield 17.5 times in 2012. In 2013, while Crichton’s sack total did go down to 7.5 sacks, he increased his tackles for loss total in his junior season to 19.0 tackles for loss which ranked T-11th in the country. Over Crichton’s career as a Beaver, he has recorded 10 forced fumbles along with 9 passes defended, amazing considering that Crichton spent most of his time at the defensive end position. Although Crichton doesn’t have the defensive stats that LB Trent Murphy, Anthony Barr or DE Aaron Donald have, he is still as viable an option as any to be drafted in the first round by somebody needing defensive talent. This past season for the Packers, B.J. Raji’s production was noticeably absent from the Packers defensive line. I believe that if the Packers pick Crichton or another defensive prowess, they could either move Raji over to the nose tackle position or they could get rid of Raji completely and try out Crichton in his place. Regardless though, the Packers desperately need a force that can help put pressure on the QB, while still being able to go and hunt down ball carriers in the backfield with precision and speed. I think in the 6’3″, 265-pound Crichton the Packers can find a reliable pass rusher who has the ability to get past blockers with his dazzling array of strength and expert use of his hands. His bull-rush technique has been proven to be relatively successful, however it is his inability to quit on plays that has made Crichton one of this year’s most underrated defensive lineman.

Film Analysis vs. Boise State (brought to you by draftbreakdown.com)
Setting: 2013 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu, Hawaii.

In his final game as a Oregon State Beaver, junior defensive end Scott Crichton did not disappoint, recording three tackles for loss for -15 yards while adding another -3 yards on a sack in the Beavers 38-20 win over the Boise State Broncos. From the start of the game, you could tell that Crichton was making the most of his bowl game opportunity. On multiple plays during the first quarter Crichton was seen showcasing his elite 4.73 40-yard speed on bull rushes, forcing the QB out of the pocket and on the run. What was great about Crichton’s play early on was his pure presence on the defensive line and ability to create traffic and block potential running lanes for running backs. What Crichton is greatest at is playing almost a zone run, forcing running backs or quarterbacks to find other ways around him. His mere ability to penetrate the offensive line makes him one of the best PAC-12 defensive ends and one of the top defensive ends in the country. For example on a first-and-10 play on the Broncos’ own 15, Crichton was able to get through the Boise State offensive line, follow the running back and drag him down for a big loss. On the very next play, Crichton was able to elude offensive lineman and force Boise State’s QB to fumble the ball, which was eventually returned by the Beavers for a touchdown. What I saw from the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl footage was that Crichton’s speed is grossly underrated. His capabilities to blow past defenders with his combination of speed and quickness is something that NFL scouts and the Green Bay Packers should definitely look for in a defensive lineman. At times during his game against Boise State, Crichton showed that he could be an active difference maker, recording three solo tackles as well as putting constant pressure on Boise States’ offensive lineman and QB. What really stood out was his burst of speed off the line and use of the bull rush/spin move to get around defenders. If Crichton can use those same skills in the NFL, the sky is the limit for the former Henry Foss High defensive end.

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