Olivier Alexander Vernon (born October 7, 1990) is an American football defensive end for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and has also played for the New York Giants. He played college football at the University of Miami.
Vernon with the Miami Dolphins
|No. 54 – Cleveland Browns|
|Born:||October 7, 1990|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||262 lb (119 kg)|
|High school:||American (Hialeah, Florida)|
|NFL Draft:||2012 / Round: 3 / Pick: 72|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 2 in
|10 1⁄8 in
|4.80 s||1.64 s||2.78 s||4.50 s||7.39 s||34 1⁄2 in
|10 ft 2 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
The Miami Dolphins selected Vernon in the third round (72nd overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. Vernon was the eighth defensive end drafted in 2012. His selection ended a drought of eight years without the Miami Dolphins drafting a player from the University of Miami. The last one had been Vernon Carey in 2004.
Throughout his first training camp, Vernon competed against Jared Odrick, Randy Starks, Jonathan Freeny, and Jamaal Westerman for a job as a starting defensive end. Head coach Joe Philbin named Vernon a backup defensive end to begin the regular season, behind Cameron Wake and Jared Odrick.
He made his professional regular season debut in the Miami Dolphins’ season-opener at the Houston Texans and recorded one solo tackle in their 30–10 loss. On September 23, 2012, Vernon collected a season-high five sacks and was credited for half a sack to mark the first of his career during a 23–20 loss against the New York Jets in Week 3. Vernon’s first sack was alongside teammate Jared Odrick, as both of them brought Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez down for a six-yard loss in the second quarter. In Week 6, he recorded four solo tackles and made a season-high two sacks on Rams’ quarterback Sam Bradford as the Dolphins defeated the St. Louis Rams 17–14. On October 28, 2012, Vernon recorded a tackle and scored the first touchdown of his career after recovering a blocked punt by teammate Jimmy Wilson in the end zone during the first quarter of a 30–9 win at the New York Jets in Week 8. Vernon also blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt by Jets’ kicker Nick Folk in the end of the second quarter. Vernon finished his rookie season in 2012 with 32 combined tackles (25 solo), 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and a touchdown in 16 games and zero starts.
During training camp, Vernon competed against Jared Odrick and Dion Jordan to be a starting defensive end, opposite Cameron Wake. Head coach Joe Philbin names Vernon and Cameron Wake the starting defensive ends to start the regular season. They began the season alongside defensive tackles Paul Soliai and Randy Starks.
On September 8, 2013, Vernon earned his first career start during the Miami Dolphins’ season-opening 23–10 victory at the Cleveland Browns. On December 1, 2013, Vernon collected a season-high ten combined tackles (eight solo) and recorded a season-high three sacks during a 23–3 victory at the New York Jets in Week 13. Vernon recorded one of his sacks on Jets’ quarterback Geno Smith and earned another two by sacking backup quarterback Matt Simms. He finished the 2013 NFL season with 57 combined tackles (46 solo) and a career-high 11.5 sacks in 16 games and 14 starts.
Vernon entered training camp slated as a starting defensive end in 2014. Head coach Joe Philbin retained Vernon and Cameron Wake as the starting defensive ends to begin the 2014 regular season. In Week 6, he collected a season-high seven combined tackles and made 1.5 sacks on Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers during a 27–24 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Vernon started in all 16 games in 2014 and recorded 46 combined tackles (31 solo) and 6.5 sacks.
Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle retained Vernon as a starting defensive end entering training camp. Head coach Joe Philbin names Vernon and Cameron Wake the starting defensive ends to begin the regular season. They started alongside defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Earl Mitchell. In Week 13, he recorded six combined tackles and made a season-high 2.5 sacks during a 15–13 win against the Baltimore Ravens. On December 20, 2015, Vernon collected a season-high 11 combined tackles (six solo) and was credited with half a sack in the Dolphins’ 30–14 loss at the San Diego Chargers in Week 15. Vernon started in all 16 games in 2015 and recorded 61 combined tackles (41 solo) and 7.5 sacks.
New York GiantsEdit
Head coach Ben McAdoo named Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul the starting defensive ends. They started alongside defensive tackles Damon Harrison and Johnathan Hankins. In Week 10, he collected a season-high ten combined tackles (four solo) and made one sack during a 21–20 win against the Cincinnati Bengals. On November 27, 2016, Vernon recorded four solo tackles and made a season-high two sacks on Browns’ quarterback Josh McCown during a 27–13 win at the Cleveland Browns in Week 12. The following week, he made four solo tackles and tied his season-high of two sacks during a 24–14 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13. Vernon finished his first season as a member of the New York Giants with a career-high 63 combined tackles (44 solo) and 8.5 sacks. He was named second-team All-Pro.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo retained Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul as the starting defensive ends in 2017. In Week 3, he collected a season-high five combined tackles and made one sack as the Giants lost 27–24 at the Philadelphia Eagles. Vernon was sidelined for four games (Weeks 5–9) due to an ankle injury. On November 12, 2017, Vernon recorded four combined tackles, deflected a pass, and made his first career interception during the Giants’ 31–21 loss at the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10. Vernon intercepted a pass by 49ers’ quarterback C. J. Beathard, that was intended for running back Matt Breida, during the third quarter. On December 4, 2017, the New York Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo after the Giants fell to a 2–10 record. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was named the interim head coach for the last four games of the season. He finished the 2017 NFL season with 37 combined tackles (22 solo), 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one interception, and one sack in 12 games and 12 starts. He received an overall grade of 84.2 from Pro Football Focus.
On January 22, 2018, the New York Giants announced their decision to hire Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as their new head coach. Shumur hired James Bettcher as defensive coordinator and changed the base 4-3 defense into a base 3-4 defense. As a result, Vernon was moved from defensive end to outside linebacker. Vernon entered training camp slated as a starting outside linebacker, but saw competition from Kareem Martin, Connor Barwin, and Lorenzo Carter. Head coach Pat Shumur named Vernon and Kareem Martin the starting outside linebackers to star the regular season. They started alongside inside linebackers B. J. Goodson and Alec Ogletree.
He missed the first five games (a Week 1–5) due to an ankle injury. In Week 13, Vernon collected a season-high five solo tackles, made two sacks, and one pass deflection during a 30–27 win against the Chicago Bears. On December 18, 2018, Vernon was named as an alternate to the 2019 Pro Bowl. On December 30, 2018, he recorded five combined tackles and made a season-high 2.5 sacks during a 36–35 loss against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17. He finished the season with 30 combined tackles (23 solo), seven pass deflections, and one pass deflection in 11 games and 11 starts. Vernon received an overall grade of 86.3 from Pro Football Focus in 2018, which ranked 14th among all edge rushers. On January 19, 2019, it was announced that Vernon was selected to play in the 2019 Pro Bowl as a replacement for Khalil Mack who was unable to play due to an injury.
On March 13, 2019, Vernon was acquired by the Cleveland Browns, along with Odell Beckham Jr., in exchange for Jabrill Peppers, Kevin Zeitler, and the Browns' first- and third-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.
- Olivier Vernon - Yahoo Sports
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- Washington and Vernon declare for NFL Draft
- UM's Olivier Vernon stays home with Dolphins
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- Benton, Dan (January 10, 2018). "Giants' Olivier Vernon named to Pro Bowl, replacing Khalil Mack". giantswire.usatoday.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- "Browns' blockbuster trade with Giants brings All-Pro WR Odell Beckham Jr., Pro Bowl pass rusher Olivier Vernon to Cleveland". ClevelandBrowns.com. March 13, 2019.