Draft This Guy: Scott Crichton

Editor’s Note: With the NFL Draft being a couple months away, I wanted to familiarize you with as many candidates as possible for the Dallas Cowboys. Most of us know that the hype is about the first few rounds, but it is the later rounds that can make, or break an organization. I wanted to look at the mid-round guys, who can pan out long term.

 

The Dallas Cowboys have made considerable improvements, in terms of drafting players in the last few seasons. This offseason the Cowboys lost key personnel in LB Demarcus Ware (Broncos), and DL Jason Hatcher (Redskins). The verdict is out on unrestricted free agent Anthony Spencer, but regardless of that, this year’s draft will prove vital to the team’s success on defense. Not to say that there wont be any offensive talent selected in the draft, but the focus should be around solidifying the defense for 2014. The team has already addressed the defense by signing LB Will Herring, DT Terrell McClain, DE Jeremy Mincey, and DT Henry Melton in the offseason, but in all honesty that is not enough.

 

The 2014 NFL Draft will make or break the Dallas Cowboys organization. Period. There has been too many bad drafts in recent history for the Cowboys. They have to hit on every player to ensure that they can make up for losing a few key players to a team that already lacked depth last season.

 

This review is on a guy that is one of the better players in all of the 2014 NFL Draft Class, but for some reason, he isn’t one of the flashy choices. He is a low-risk, high reward player, that can make an instant impact in the NFL. He has flexibility at defensive end, defensive tackle, and could realistically be successful at the outside linebacker position. Outside of a few, minor technique flaws, Oregon State Junior DE Scott Crichton is one the premeire defensive players in the 2014 NFL Draft Class.

 

NFL Combine: 40 YARD DASH: 4.84 SEC, BENCH PRESS: 24 REPS, VERTICAL JUMP: 31.5 INCH, BROAD JUMP: 108.0 INCH, 3 CONE DRILL: 7.19 SEC, 20 YARD SHUTTLE: 4.29 SEC, OVERALL GRADE: 5.35

Games evaluated: Oregon (2013), Utah (2013), Hawaii (2013)

 

 
Standing at 6’3″, and weighing in at 273 pounds, Crichton skipped his last year of eligibility to declare for the NFL Draft. Crichton finished the 2013 season with 47 tackles (19 TFL), 7.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles. He declared early, and in my opinion, it was the perfect time – All the fine tuning that I believe that he needs can be fixed in Training Camp. Crichton has great athletic ability, as well as the other necessary tools that will allow for him to succeed at the next level. He just needs that next level of competition to expedite the process.
 
 
In 2013, he was selected to the Pac-12 Second-Team, after starting in all 13 games. Crichton is third all-time on the Beaver’s register, with 22.5 sacks. He also received All-Conference honors in 2012. His 10 career forced fumbles ranks second all-time in the Pac-12 Conference, and his career tackles for loss (51), ranks him third all-time.
 
 
In other words, Crichton is a playmaker. In last year’s Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Crichton was all over the place, wreaking havoc, en route to a 38-23 win over the Boise State Broncos. He finished the game with three tackles, one sack, one pass deflection, and one forced fumble. His presence on the field is nowhere close to what those numbers indicate. He was a dominant force for the Beavers, not just in that game, but for the entire season.
 
 
There were a few moments where you would question his motor, only because his presence was missed on the field. His efficiency on the pass rush allowed him to make some plays, including a forced fumble in the Bronco’s endzone, that led to a Beaver touchdown. He can also be a detriment. In the Hawaii Bowl, Crichton committed two offsides penalties on 3rd downs, that eventually led to Broncos touchdowns. Overall, he had a great going away party in Hawaii.
 
 
Crichton plays downhill, but with limited speed, he is very aggressive in nature, and forces teams to double team him. He has a great first step, and extension on his bull rush. It is almost impossible to turn Crichton out, especially, when he lines up at nose tackle. One of Crichton’s minor flaws, is that he is very limited on double moves with his pass rush, often relying on his bull rush. His spin move is lethargic, and he is often the victim of missed holding calls, sometimes completely giving up on plays. Complete opposite player when tired, but then again, who’s not?
 
 
When it comes to stopping the run, Crichton is always around the action. He is not a sideline to sideline guy, but he makes up for pursuit, by taking great angles to the ball. He doesn’t consistently beat the double team, but he is agile enough to keep offensive lineman at bay. He needs to improve on reading the read option. He struggled with this against Utah. He has limited speed when it comes to changing direction. He does a great job at closing down the line of scrimmage, it was rare for a back to bounce it outside on him. Outstanding physical presence on the outside.
 
 
 
As a pass rusher, there are areas of improvement, but nothing that wont make him effective now. He’s very quick off of the ball, and applies constant pressure on the outside. Although it is usually with a bull rush, Crichton doesn’t have any problems getting to the quarterback. he didn’t record a sack against Oregon, but was always in the backfield, pressuring the junior quarterback Marcus Mariota. One thing that I did notice, is that on outside rushes, he is often moved wide of the quarterback, almost as if he cannot control his direction once he reaches his top speed. He missed quite a few sacks because of this, and it once again, raised concerns about his ability to change direction.
 
  I wouldn’t say that Crichton’s motor is questionable, but there is something about him that leaves you wondering. Maybe it is the fact that many of the big plays, and touchdowns that were scored against the Beavers, was when he wasn’t on the field. There were times in both the Oregon, and Hawaii game, where Crichton would make back to back big plays, and you wouldn’t see him for a major portion of the series. His ideal fit would be on a team with a solid rotation on the defensive front. There is no doubt that he would be able to make plays in a pass rusher role.

 
 
NFL scouts have deemed Crichton as risky, and rough around the edges, stating that he may need more time to develop as a NFL starter. His talent is raw, and all he needs is some fine tuning.  He had a solid combine, and showed his potential as a 4-3 defensive end. He finished third among all defensive ends, and sixth among all defensive lineman, with a 5.35 combine grade. After this showing, his stock should rise up, as it should.
 
 
 
If Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli can get his hands on Crichton – the sky is the limit. He is determined to succeed, not only for himself, but also his family. That motivation alone speaks volumes. He is also a stand-up guy, could become the face of an organization.He has no problem with the media, and is not afraid to talk about inportant issues. This kid should be on the Cowboys radar.
 
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