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Vikings release former third-rounder Scott Crichton

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings on Friday released Scott Crichton, the once-promising defensive end they took with their first of two third-round picks in 2014.

Crichton left Oregon State a year early, motivated in part by a desire to support his family after his father lost a leg as the result of an infection in Western Samoa. Crichton was never able to show a thorough enough command of the Vikings' defense to earn regular playing time, however, and after he started only one game in his first two NFL seasons, he was placed on injured reserve before the 2016 season.

He is the highest draft pick the Vikings have released in the Mike Zimmer era, and on a team that has posted exemplary results in developing pass-rushers like Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter, Crichton ranks as the most prominent Vikings defensive line prospect not to pan out since the current coaching staff was hired in 2014.