Coming into the NFL Draft, Scott Crichton was compared to Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison.
Now Crichton will get the chance to learn under Robison, after being selected in the third round by Minnesota and signing his rookie contract with the Vikings. Crichton tweeted the news Wednesday evening and the team officially announced the signing Thursday.
A 273-pound defensive end out of Oregon State, Crichton was back at school this week as he finishes classes while agreeing to and signing his deal.
Crichton was in town for the Vikings’ rookie minicamp last weekend and got his first chance to work with the team’s coaches.
"I’m just trying to absorb as much as I can from the coaches, the players I met over here like Everson (Griffen) and B-Rob," Crichton said last week. "I met them, and they were telling me some stuff, too. I’m just trying to soak everything in."
Crichton communicated with Robison by Twitter after he was drafted. As for those comparisons to Robison?
"That’s an honor to be compared to B-Rob," Crichton said. "He’s a great player and a great dude. I hope I can be just like him, and one of these days hopefully I can do that."
The early comparisons to Robison were in regard to Crichton’s ability as a strong run-stopping defensive end with some pass-rush skills.
"We’re both kind of the same guy, player-wise," Crichton said. "He’s got a good burst, strong, physical, lot of intensity. So hopefully I can emulate my game after his."
Now that he’s a member of the Vikings, the comparison takes on a different aspect.
Robison was a fourth-round pick by Minnesota out of Texas in 2007 and was a backup for four seasons and part-time pass-rusher before becoming a full-time starter in 2011.
With Griffen signing a five-year contract this offseason and Robison agreeing to an extension last season, Crichton comes to the Vikings in the same situation as Robison — a likely backup for the first few years of his career.
Crichton said he was being used mostly at right defensive end — which would be behind Griffen in Jared Allen’s old role — early in the rookie minicamp and could move inside during passing downs.
"A lot of the stuff is similar but probably the most difficult is the new system, new coaches," Crichton said. "I’ve got to adapt to everybody, and I’ve got to adapt to the new competition and the new NFL basically. The whole gig is difficult."
Crichton’s task is tougher because he hasn’t finished school. He’s one of three Vikings draft picks along with Anthony Barr and David Yankey whose schools are on the quarters system. After the minicamp, Crichton returned to Oregon State and won’t be back with the team until June. He planned on using the Internet video service Skype to keep in contact with his coaches.
"It’s a huge disadvantage," Crichton said. "Everyone else is learning, but at the same time I still get the plays they have to do, the clips of the practices on my iPad. That kind of helps, but the whole one-on-one thing with my coach, the vets coming in, too, that’s a big disadvantage I’m missing out on."
Soon enough, Crichton will be back in Minnesota and on the same field as Robison.