Atlanta has been looking at a lot of Day 2 pass-rushers over the past couple of weeks. Oregon State's Scott Crichton is just another one of those guys. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Crichton has worked out for the Falcons this offseason.
Oregon State University
Combine/Pro Day Measurements
Height: 6'2.875" Weight: 273 pounds
Arm Length: 32.75"; Hand Measurement: 10.125"
40-yard dash: 4.84 sec.; 10-yard split: 1.62 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 4.29 sec.; 3-cone Drill: 7.19 sec.; Bench Reps: 24 reps
Vertical Jump: 31.5"; Broad Jump: 9'0"
2013: 13 Games Played, 47 Tackles, 19.0 Tackles for Loss, 7.5 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry, 3 Fumbles Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 3 Pass Deflections
2012: 13 Games Played, 44 Tackles, 17.5 Tackles for Loss, 9.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry, 1 Fumble Forced, 3 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick
2011: 12 Games Played, 74 Tackles, 14.5 Tackles for Loss, 6.0 Sacks, 6 Fumbles Forced, 3 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick
Crichton has excellent snap anticipation and makes sure he gets off the line first almost every play. He’s also extremely physical and understands how to eat double-teams at times. He can convert speed-to-power well and knocks offensive linemen on their butts.
His strong lower body allows him to keep ground against the run and explode off the line against the pass. His best asset is his motor, though. He’s relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback or whoever else the ball-carrier is.
For as much football IQ that Crichton shows, he really needs to learn how to properly pass rush instead of just running around the edge. He loses any semblance of leverage he has when he rushes the passer by standing up straight at the snap.
He also doesn’t shed run blocks particularly well, and if he learned how to properly use his hands, he could at least be average in this faculty. If he doesn’t get an initial push at the snap, he pretty much is done, and that isn’t acceptable at the NFL level.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
Crichton was never arrested, nor was he ever suspended. The Falcons would love that he’s known as a hardworking player off the field, and that his athletic profile is ideal for the role he’s going to play. Crichton was never a captain for the Beavers, but he hasn’t caused trouble either.
Crichton is a high-IQ football player who has a bit of rawness to his game. Ideally, a team will use him as a third defensive end and pass-rush specialist similar to how the Giants used Osi Umenyiora for a good bit of his career.
He needs a lot of technical work and has one of the best natural jumps off the ball in the draft. However, he isn’t one of the best physical specimens in the draft and could stand to get a bit stronger, as his functional strength is only average.
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
If the Falcons can get Crichton in the third round, they would have gotten a steal, as he’s a mid-second-round talent in the draft. Crichton would be an instant contributor for the Falcons as a designated pass-rusher on third downs.
He would play both defensive end and outside linebacker in coordinator Mike Nolan’s scheme and could finally give the Falcons a 10-sack guy if line coach Brian Cox can fix his leverage issues. Otherwise, Crichton will be knocked out of plays regularly.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All combine and pro day info is courtesy NFL Draft Scout. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.