No. 4 – Olivier Vernon Records Double-Digit Sacks
Olivier Vernon has only recorded double-digit sacks once in his NFL career. It came in his second season with the Miami Dolphins.
The 6-foot-2, 262-pound edge rusher has been a consistent playmaker on the defensive side of the ball. He earned second-team All-Pro honors in his first season with the Giants in 2016 but has yet to have his breakthrough as one of the league’s elite pass rushers.
That could quickly change under New York’s new defensive coordinator. Bettcher helped Chandler Jones reach career-highs with the Arizona Cardinals.
He plans to utilize Vernon in a similar way. Bettcher will look to put New York’s 27-year-old pass rusher in positions where he can succeed. It worked for Jones, who just led the league with 17 sacks last season.
Having a three-man front of Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson, and B.J. Hill should only make Vernon’s job easier. Look for the former third-round pick out of Miami to have a breakout season under Bettcher and even possibly surpass his career-high of 11.5 sacks.
Vernon was the highest graded edge defended for the New York Giants in 2017, according to Pro Football Focus.
Look for No. 54 to turn it up a notch in 2018.