EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings drafted Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton with the 72nd overall pick in the third round on Friday night, bolstering their pass rush to compete in the pass-happy NFC North.
Crichton had 22½ sacks in 38 career games for the Beavers.
“That was my thing,” Crichton said. “I love to get after the quarterback.”
The Vikings chose UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr with the ninth pick and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with the 32nd pick in the first round on Thursday.
The Vikings also had the 96th overall pick in the third round that came in the trade that sent Percy Harvin to the Seahawks last year.
The Vikings did not have a choice in the second round after sending the 40th overall selection and a fourth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks to back into the first round on Thursday night for Bridgewater. General manager Rick Spielman made calls to see what it would take to move up from his two spots in the third round, but wasn’t able to swing a deal.
So the Vikings grabbed Crichton first as they look to fill the void left by the departures of veterans Jared Allen and Kevin Williams.
With defensive-minded head coach Mike Zimmer determined to upgrade the league’s 31st-ranked defense, the Vikings grabbed pass-rush specialist Barr in the first round and then Crichton, who is described as a relentless end that fits perfectly in a 4-3 defensive scheme.
Crichton left Oregon State after his junior season, a decision motivated by financial concerns for his family back home in Tacoma, Wash. His grandfather’s recent passing put greater stress on the family and so Crichton headed for the NFL to try to ease the burden.
“It was just crazy right now, full of emotions,” Crichton said. “My mom and dad are crying right now. I’m a little teary-eyed myself. It was just full of emotions, a lot of joy, too. This was a big step for me. I just can’t wait. I can’t wait to be in Minnesota right now.”
He comes to a Vikings defense that is loading up on the defensive line in a division where they see Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford twice every season. They moved on from the aging Allen and Williams, who anchored the front four together for the previous six seasons.
Minnesota gave Everson Griffen $20 million guaranteed to be a featured pass rusher, signed veteran Brian Robison to an extension and signed Giants tackle Linval Joseph and Bears free agent Corey Wootton in free agency to revamp the unit. They then added Barr, who had 23½ sacks in two seasons on defense at UCLA, and Crichton, who set the school record for forced fumbles with 10.
“Me and Anthony, we’re just going to try to create havoc, create sacks,” Crichton said. “Just do what we do.”
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