With that as a backdrop, Packer Report will run a series of profiles on this year's outside linebackers. We continue with ...
College: Oregon State.
Height/Weight: 6-2 7/8, 273 pounds.
Agility tests: 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 ?-inch vertical jump…9'-0" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times…32 ?-inch arm length…10 1/8-inch hands…79 1/8-inch wingspan.
Injury report: 2013 season: Sat out spring drills after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Number to note: Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players, Crichton's 1.34 tackles for losses per game for his career rank fourth in the nation.
After three outstanding seasons at Oregon State, Scott Crichton didn't bother getting a projection from the NFL's Draft Advisory Board before declaring himself eligible for the draft.
Crichton is playing for more than himself. His mother, Malama, is working two jobs. His father, Lucky, who had his leg amputated, works at a warehouse to help care for Crichton's "90-something"-year-old grandfather, who recently died. It's time for the natives of Western Samoa, who gave so much to Crichton and his three older siblings, to savor some of the life they worked so hard to build.
"I did it for my family. I love my family. I've taken this responsibility to take care of them," Crichton said at the Scouting Combine. "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 motivation was evident throughout his career at Oregon State. After redshirting in 2010, Crichton tallied six sacks, 14.5 tackles for losses and six forced fumbles in 2011, nine sacks, 17.5 tackles for losses and a forced fumble in 2012 and 7.5 sacks, 19 tackles for losses and three forced fumbles in 2013.
"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," Crichton said. "Coaches always told me, whatever you do, no matter if you are wrong, you've got to play on their side of the ball and that's what I really took pride in this year and it's worked out for me. ...
"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."
Even though he played only three seasons, Crichton was one of four active players with 10 career forced fumbles. That's some elite company: Buffalo's Khalil Mack had 16, Wisconsin's Chris Borland had 15 and BYU's Kyle Van Noy had 11.
"You've just got to keep playing," Crichton said. "That's what our defense tries, is we try to get turnovers for our offense. It was a mind-set to get the ball out and I take pride in that."
Crichton, who said he "maybe dropped (into coverage) three times the whole season," was a pure 4-3 defensive end at Oregon State. And while that ultimately might be his future in the NFL, a scout said Crichton might be the best fit in the draft at the elephant position described by Packers coach Mike McCarthy at the Scouting Combine.
Wherever he winds up, Crichton will bring his hard-charging, big-play-producing ways.
And his new team — not to mention his family — should benefit.
"Oh, it would just mean so much to me," he said, "because my parents have taken care of me since Day 1, and to do this for them it's just, I don't know, I can't put it into words."
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.