Carlton Football Club selected Cripps in the first round of the 2013 AFL National Draft (No 13 overall).
Even as a young player, Greg Williams was compared to him because of the strong-bodied midfielder’s ability to win clearances by manual pass. He made his senior debut against Melbourne in the fourth round of 2014. However, season injuries limited him to just three games. After the 2014 season, Cripps went from his first jumper number of 16 to number 9 after Kane Lucas was dropped from the roster.
Cripps, who is 195cm/6ft 5in, has emerged as one of the best midfielders in just his second season. He was eighth in the league in possessions contested and eleventh in clearances, and he received praise for his aggressive handball. After being favored by bookmakers for much of the year, he came in second place for the 2015 AFL Rising Star award.
He also won the John Nicholls Medal as Carlton’s Best and Fairest, making him the second-youngest winner in the history of the award. With 185 clearances at an average of 8.8 per game, ranking first in the AFL, and 354 possessions contested at an average of 16.9, ranking second in the AFL for the season, Cripps further cemented his position as one of the best midfielders in the league in 2016.
Before his season ended with a fractured leg, Cripps regained form after a slow start to the season in 2017 while recovering from a back condition, averaging 24.9 kills and 6.7 clearances in 15 games.
He and defender Sam Docherty were named Carlton co-vice-captains ahead of the start of the 2018 campaign. Cripps had a fantastic year in 2018, winning two Carlton Best and Fairest awards, full Australian honors and a runner-up finish in the of the AFL MVP vote.
Averaging nearly 29 touches per game, Cripps beat Patrick Dangerfield’s previous 386 contested possession wins in a single season with 388. He later extended his contract with the team until the 2021 campaign.
Sam Docherty and Cripps were named co-captains of the Carlton in October 2018.
In 2019, Cripps would provide his strongest season ever, averaging an impressive 8.5 clearances, 17 possessions contested and 6.2 tackles per game. That was enough to win the Leigh Matthews Award.
When Patrick Cripps’ performance drastically declined in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, it was speculated that he suffered from a chronic back condition. However, neither the club nor Patrick himself ever acknowledged him. Even though Cripps fell short of his absurdly high expectations, he was still more than enough and was seen as an essential part of Carlton’s midfield.
Patrick received 25 of 30 potential AFLCA MVP votes in the first three rounds of 2022 before suffering a hamstring injury in the fourth round against the Gold Coast Suns.