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Vikings pick running back, add another pass rusher

By Chris Tomasson

St. Paul Pioneer Press

The Vikings were expected to take a running back in the NFL draft. That’s exactly what they did in the third round Friday night.

They also picked up another Pac-12 pass rusher.

Minnesota took Georgia Southern running back Jerick McKinnon with the No. 96 pick overall. That selection was acquired from Seattle for wide receiver Percy Harvin during last year’s draft.

The 5-foot-9, 209-pound McKinnon is expected to spell Vikings star Adrian Peterson. It’s not out of the question that he eventually could be the replacement for Peterson, 29.

McKinnon rushed for 1,050 yards in 10 games last season. That followed a 2012 season in which he ran for 1,817 in 14 games.

Earlier Friday, Minnesota took Scott Crichton, a defensive end from Oregon State, with the No. 72 pick in the third round. That follows the selection of UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr with the No. 9 pick in Thursday’s first round.

The 6-foot-3, 273-pound Crichton had 22½  sacks in his three seasons with the Beavers. After picking Barr, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer had made it clear that one thing he’s looking for from his defense is to pressure the quarterback.

“Me and Anthony, we’re just going to try to create havoc,’’ Crichton said by phone after being drafted. “Do what we do.’’

The Vikings lost their top pass rusher after last season when defensive end Jared Allen bolted as a free agent to Chicago.

“I can’t wait to be in Minnesota,’’ said Crichton, who said he met with the Vikings at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis in February.

Crichton’s parents are both from Western Samoa. The native of Tacoma, Wash., said he gave up his final year of college eligibility because he wants to help support them.

Crichton’s father, Lucky, drives a forklift in a warehouse after having lost a leg due to health reasons. His mother, Malama, is a nurse at a retirement home.

“I told my dad to retire,’’ Crichton said. “So I think he is. I don’t know about my mom. She doesn’t want to stay around the house and do nothing all day.’’

The pick of Crichton was announced in New York by former Vikings star defensive back Joey Browner.

The Vikings did not have a second-round pick Friday.

The draft concludes today with rounds four through seven.

The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.