Steelers 2014 NFL Draft Player Profiles – Oregon State DE/OLB Scott Crichton
Good friend Dave-Te’ Thomas of Scouting Services has finished his player profiles of several of the top 2014 NFL Draft prospects and over the course of the next few weeks I will be posting the ones that the Pittsburgh Steelers will more than likely have interest in. Being as Oregon State DE/OLB Scott Crichton was in for a pre draft visit on Monday, now is a good time to post his. Thomas has done these profiles for the NFL for several years and I know that many of you enjoy reading them.
Defensive End/Outside Linebacker
Oregon State University Beavers
Henry Foss High School
Part of the record-breaking 102 underclassmen to declare for the draft, Crichton and wide receiver Brandin Cooks are just the fourth and fifth players in school history to leave school early to declare for the draft. While Crichton could justify that move because he is regarded as one of the best defensive ends in college ever since suiting up for the Beavers three years ago, he also had a very good, and personal reasons why he wants to join the professional ranks next season – for his family.
While part of the 335-plus players in attendance at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, Crichton sat down at the table in the media room to tell his story that had more than a handful of reporters impressed with his genuine drive to succeed … for all the right reasons. The underrated Pac-12 Conference player laid out exactly why it was time for him to head to the next level. Simply put, his family desperately needs him to.
“I love my family. I’ve taken this responsibility to take care of them. My mom works two jobs, and my dad is disabled and still works a job, too. They are getting old and I want them to retire and just stop working. I just did this for my family. I was going to come back to college but just to see my family struggle — we didn’t have much growing up and to see my family struggle, I wasn’t OK with that. So I had to do something, and this is one of the greatest opportunities for me to take care of my family.”
Crichton’s parents are both from Western Samoa. His father, Lucky (his given name) lost a leg a while back due to health reasons, and it was impossible for Crichton to recall his dad’s struggle since without profound emotion. “He works at a warehouse right now, which is barely getting by like $10 an hour, and he [had taken] care of my grandpa. My grandpa is 90-something and he just passed. It was just unfortunate, and this was all happening at once.”
So, Crichton didn’t bother getting a grade from the advisory board, like most of the other 102 underclassmen that declared had done. He decided to take his 22.5 sacks and 51.0 tackles for loss over three seasons to the NFL, and see what it would get him. With three siblings as well, Crichton was clearly feeling the pressure. As he told reporters with a laugh, “I’m the baby, but I wasn’t the spoiled one.”
Fortunately, based on his tape, Crichton’s making the right call. Scouts feel that the Beavers standout has an intriguing combination of upper-body strength, pure hustle off the snap and hand moves that will put him on a lot of draft boards. Because he’s got the kind of hybrid size that would work with 4-3 and 3-4 systems, Crichton has opened himself to more NFL possibilities.
Using Seattle’s Michael Bennett as an optimal example, Crichton is the type of athlete that can stunt inside to disrupt interior gaps just as well as he can burn outside edges and get around tackles. It’s a matter of technique. “What is the key to getting penetration inside a tackle? Like a 4-tech or a 3-tech? You’ve just got to get off the ball and attack, attack the opposing player and you’ve got to just play on their side of the ball. Coaches always told me, whatever you do, no matter if you are wrong, you’ve got to play on their side of the ball. That’s what I really took pride in this year, and it’s worked out for me.”
And as a pure edge rusher, Crichton takes pride in his non-stop acceleration. “I think it’s just my get-off. It starts with my get-off. Just being explosive and coming off right off the line and then you’ve got to have technique. I’ve worked on my craft these last couple years and I feel like I have improved and progressed as a defensive end — using my hands, using my power, my speed. I think all those attributes help me a lot.”
Still, Crichton has the simple dream to put his family in a much better place. “Oh, it would just mean so much to me because my parents have taken care of me since Day One,” the rush end said when asked what it will mean when he can provide that relief. “And to do this for them it’s just … I don’t know, I can’t put it into words.” As with his on-field performance, the tape shows that he did just fine in that department.
Born in Tacoma, Washington, Crichton attended Henry Foss High School. He was a three-year letterman at defensive end and linebacker, and was the Narrows League Defensive MVP with 78 solo tackles. He was also named to the Washington Class 4A All-State first-team and was the Tacoma Weekly Player of the Year. Regarded as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, he was rated the 44th-best defensive end prospect in the nation by that recruiting service.
Crichton committed to Oregon State on January 16th, 2010, but would spend that campaign serving on the scout team as a red-shirt, where he was named that squad’s co-MVP at the end of the schedule. In 2011, he had a phenomenal season, finishing with 74 tackles (48 solos) that included him leading the Beavers with six sacks and 14.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, earning freshman All-American honors.
The 2011 campaign would also begin a string of three consecutive season where Crichton was nationally ranked in sacks and tackles-for-loss, culminating by ranking second in the league with 14.5 stops-for-loss in 2011, a 21st-place finish with 17.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage as a sophomore and following that up with ranking 11th in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks with nineteen more tackles-for-loss as a junior.
The 2012 campaign was hard-fought for Crichton, who received All-American honorable mention despite playing with a shoulder injury that required surgery to repair after the season. But what a sophomore season it was, as he again led the Beavers with nine sacks and 17.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
As a junior, Crichton was named All-American second-team while also picking up All-Pac 12 Conference accolades. The left defensive end again led the team for the third-straight season, posting 7.5 sacks among his nineteen stops behind the line of scrimmage. He also caused three fumbles and delivered 47 stops in thirteen contests. Two weeks the Beavers’ returned home from their victory over Boise State in the 2013 Hawaii Bowl, Crichton announced that he was leaving school to play in the National Football League next season.
Crichton started all but the 2012 Nicholls State contest during his 38-game career at Oregon State, lining up at right defensive end for his first twelve appearances before he shifted to the left side … Recorded 165 tackles (100 solos) with 22.5 sacks for minus 130 yards and 51.0 stops for losses of 224 yards … Recovered four fumbles, advancing one 36 yards, as he also caused ten fumbles and deflected nine passes … NCAA Career-Record Results … Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players, Crichton ranks ninth for tackle-for-loss yardage (224) and his average of 1,34 stops behind the line of scrimmage per game placed fourth, as his 22.5 sacks rank 11th … Among the active group, Crichton is one of just four with double-digit forced fumbles, as Crichton recorded ten, Kyle Van Noy of Brigham Young had eleven; Chris Borland of Wisconsin set the Big Ten Conference record with fifteen and Khalil Mack of Buffalo established the Mid-American Conference mark with sixteen … Also placed fourth among active players with 47 solo tackles-for-loss, topped by Van Noy (58), Aaron Donald of Pittsburgh (61) and Mack (62) … School Career-Record Results … Crichton holds the school record with ten forced fumbles, breaking the old mark of nine by Stephen Paea (2008-10) … His 22.5 sacks are surpassed by only Bill Swancutt (37.0; 2001-04) and Victor Butler (25.5; 2005-08) in OSU annals … His 51.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage are fourth on the school career chart behind Swancutt (59.5), Inoke Breckterfield (55.5; 1995-98) and Richard Seigler (53.0; 2000-03) … His 51.0 stops also tied Zack Follett of California (2005-08) for 22nd on the Pac-12 Conference all-time chart.
Crichton is the first player in school history to lead the team in both sacks and tackles-for-loss in three consecutive seasons … His six forced fumbles in 2011 broke the previous OSU annual record of four, held by several players, including John Gonzales (1984), DeLawrence Grant (2000), Coye Francies (2006), Victor Butler (2008) and Stephen Paea (2009 and ’10) … His 17.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage in 2012 tied Richard Seigler (2003) and Bill Swancutt (2003) for seventh on the school chart, as Crichton’s 19.0 stops-for-loss in 2013 placed fifth on that list, surpassed by Victor Butler, DE (21.5 in 2008), LaDairus Jackson (21.0 in 2000), Swancutt (21.0 in 2002) and Nick Barnett (20.5 in 2002) …
His nine sacks in 2012 tied Dorian Smith (2006) and Slade Norris (2007) for ninth on the OSU annual list … Recorded four tackles-for-loss vs. Washington State in 2012, with only Richard Seigler (seven vs. Arizona State in 2001) and Victor Butler (five vs. Pittsburgh in 2008) producing more in a contest.
Crichton earned All-American second-team recognition from The NFL Draft Report and honorable mention from Sports Illustrated … The All-Pac 12 Conference second-team choice was named to the preliminary watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Award, the Bednarik Award and the Lott Trophy – all three awards are given to the top defensive player in the nation … Also named to the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Watch List … Despite consistently drawing double team coverage, the junior left defensive end recorded 47 tackles (29 solos), as he led the team and ranked ninth in the league with 7.5 sacks for minus 48 yards, also leading the Beavers while finishing third in the Pac-12 and 11th nationally with 19.0 stops for losses of 85 yards … That figure also ranks fifth on the school season-record chart … Caused three fumbles and advanced a fumble recovery 36 yards … Had one quarterback pressure and deflected three passes … .Posted 1.5 sacks for minus 10 yards and four tackles vs. Hawaii, followed by a season-high seven tackles that included two stops behind the line of scrimmage and a forced fumble vs. Utah … Posted 2.5 stops-for-loss and five tackles vs. San Diego State and was in on four solo tackles that included an 11-yard sack, causing a fumble on the play, while making two stops-for-loss vs. California … Had a 7-yard sack and advanced a fumble 36 yards vs. Stanford … Added an 8-yard sack vs. Southern California and made two sacks for minus 9 yards in the Arizona State clash … Posted two more stops behind the line of scrimmage and registered six tackles with a fourth-down pressure vs. Washington…Closed out his career with a 3-yard sack, three stops for losses totaling 15 yards, three solo tackles, a pass deflection and a forced fumble vs. Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl.
Crichton earned Sophomore All-American recognition from The NFL Draft Report and was an All-American honorable mention by ESPN and Sports Illustrated … The semi-finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award given annually to the nation’s top defensive end, the left defensive end was one of just two underclassmen on defense to receive All-Pac 12 Conference first-team accolades … Was also on the Lombardi Award Watch List … Started twelve games, coming off the bench vs. Nicholls State … Produced 44 tackles (23 solos), tying for ninth on the school record chart while finishing seventh in the league with a career-high nine sacks for minus 49 yards … His team-high 17.5 stops for losses totaling 76 yards tied for seventh in the OSU record book and placed seventh in the conference … Had three pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble … His three sacks vs. Washington State all came on third-down snaps, and all four of his tackles came behind the line of scrimmage … Added two sacks, three stops for minus 17 yards, a pass break-up and six solo tackles vs. UCLA … Registered two stops-for-loss, causing a fumble in the Arizona contest … Delivered two sacks vs. Brigham Young and assisted on a tackle-for-loss vs. Texas in the Alamo Bowl.
Crichton earned Freshman All-America honors from The NFL Draft Report, College Foot-ball News, CBSSporrts.com, Yahoo Sports, Phil Steele and Sporting News … Named All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention … Started all twelve games at right defensive end, as he recorded a career-high 74 tackles (48 solos), ranking second in the league while leading the team with 14.5 stops for losses of 63 yards … Also paced the Beavers with six sacks for minus 33 yards … Caused six fumbles, a school season record, as he also recovered a fumble and broke up three passes … Was selected Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for his performance vs. Washington State (seven tackles, two stops-for-loss, a sack, two forced fumbles, one pass deflection) … Made his college debut with a 2-yard sack and two stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Sacramento State … Made eleven tackles with a sack and two stops-for-loss vs. UCLA … Caused a fumble and posted eight tackles, a 3-yard sack and three stops for minus 7 yards vs. Arizona State, followed by another forced fumble vs. Arizona … Recorded a 7-yard sack, as both of his tackles behind the line of scrimmage caused fumbles, ending with seven hits vs. Washington State … Tallied eight tackles with a forced fumble, two sacks for minus 17 yards and three stops-for-loss in the Washington clash … Closed out the year with a career-high twelve tackles (10 solos) that included a stop for an 8-yard loss, forcing a fumble on that snap vs. Oregon in the “Civil War.”
Crichton red-shirted as a freshman and was named the scout team’s defensive co-MVP.
2013 Season … Sat out spring drills after undergoing shoulder surgery.
4.84 in the 40-yard dash … 1.68 10-yard dash … 2.79 20-yard dash … 4.29 20-yard shuttle … 7.19 three-cone drill … 31 ½-inch vertical jump … 9’-0” broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times … 32 ¾-inch arm length … 10 1/8-inch hands … 79 1/8-inch wingspan.
Crichton attended Henry Foos (Tacoma, Wash.) High School, where he was a three-year letterman at defensive end and linebacker … Named the Narrows League Defensive MVP with 78 solo tackles as a senior … Named to the Washington Class 4A All-State first-team and was the Tacoma Weekly Player of the Year … Regarded as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, he was rated the 44th-best defensive end prospect in the nation by that recruiting service.
Crichton (pronounced CRY-ton) is enrolled in the university’s human development and family sciences program … Son of Malama and Lucky Crichton … Born 10/30/91 in Tacoma, Washington.