2015 NFL DRAFT
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Olivier Vernon

| | College: Miami (Fla.)
 
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange
Overview

A highly regarded prep prospect, Vernon signed with Miami and immediately saw playing time earning action in 11 games and starting two contests as a true freshman. Vernon registered 25 tackles on the season and demonstrated big play potential early on, making five stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Vernon enjoyed his best collegiate season as a sophomore, starting 11 of 13 games and posting career highs in tackles (39), tackles for loss (10.5) and sacks (six). Having demonstrated a quick burst off the snap and a frame to intrigue scouts working for 3-4 and 4-3 teams, alike, Vernon appeared poised to enter his junior season as one of blossoming pass rushers in the entire country.

Instead, Vernon was caught up in the Nevin Shapiro booster scandal and was suspended for the first six games of the 2011 season. He flashed the talents that had been percolating a year earlier, registering 18 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks over the final six games of the year but stunned scouts when he decided to leave Miami with a full season of eligibility remaining.

Vernon has an NFL-caliber combination of size and athleticism. He is far from a finished product, however, and NFL teams will have to ask themselves what type of dedication to a team he'll have considering the fact that he left Miami so abruptly.

Analysis

Positives: Looks the part. Possesses a long, athletic build with room for additional muscle mass. Flashes a burst off the snap, which is good enough to cross the face of collegiate tackles and put him in position to make big plays behind the line of scrimmage. Good lateral agility to elude. Plays on the balls of his feet and shows enough balance and flexibility to quickly turn and pursue laterally and downfield. Plenty of athletic talent worthy of developing …

Negatives: Raw. Relies on his burst and size as a pass rusher and shows little in terms of pass rush technique. Flashes some explosiveness as a hitter but has just one forced fumble (2011) for his career. Only average strength at the point of attack, at this time. Loses track of the football and really could have used more seasoning before making the jump to the NFL. His "breakout" sophomore season of six sacks looks less impressive when one realizes that he recorded 3.5 of his sacks on the season against Florida A&M. Concerns about his maturity and work ethic.

2011 Season

Played in six contests, earning starts in the final three games of the season … Finished the year with 18 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss … Also recorded 1.5 sacks … Had his best game of the year against Florida State, finishing with a season-high five tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss … Recovered a fumble against Duke.

2010 Season

Played in all 13 games, starting 11 … Second on the team, and 11th in the ACC with 6.0 sacks … Fourth on the team in tackles for loss with 10.5 … Had a team season-high 3.5 sacks in the season opener against Florida A&M … Also recorded a season-highseven tackles against the Rattlers.

2009 Season

Played in 11 games, garnering two starts first at Virginia Tech and against Wisconsin … One of three true freshmen (along with FB Mike James and CB Brandon McGee) to play in double-digit games for the Hurricanes … Ranked third among UM defensive linemen with 25 total tackles … Tallied 12 total tackles in UM's first three games (at FSU, vs. Georgia Tech, at Virginia Tech) … Recorded 5.0 tackles for a loss, including three in win over eventual ACC Champion Georgia Tech … Also had a half a sack against the Yellow Jackets … Had two quarterback hurries against Duke in UM's home finale … Tallied five total tackles in the Hurricanes' regular season finale at USF … Also had a career-high four solo tackles against Wisconsin in Champs Sports Bowl.

High School

Enrolled in January … No. 9 best defensive end prospect according to Scout.com and Rivals.com and No. 16 defensive end by ESPN.com … As a sophomore, picked up 42 tackles and seven sacks, and as a junior recorded 52 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 21 tackles for losses and three fumble recoveries … Named to the Mobile Super Southeast 120.

 
 
Latest News
04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Dolphins' picks: Round 3/72 - Olivier Vernon, DE, 6-2, 261, Miami...This well-built, quick twitch edge pass rusher reminded the scouts a lot of Cameron Wake, whom the Dolphins discovered in the CFL. He had an average career from a production standout, but the film showed he's a solid player. Ireland specifically liked the way he set the edge on running plays. COULD SURPRISE: Defensive end Olivier Vernon: His production at Miami is underwhelming considering he only contributed 82 career tackles and nine sacks before declaring for the draft after his suspension-shortened junior season. But his athleticism, strength and speed measurables were off the charts, and won Ireland and his scouts over during a workout. The Dolphins envision Vernon immediately filling Jason Taylor's old role as a situational pass rusher in the nickel package. - The Sports Xchange

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