Olivier Vernon working with Dolphins first team defense

Joel Auerbach

While Miami waits on Dion Jordan, second-year player Olivier Vernon looks to take steps forward.

The formation of the Miami Dolphins' pass rush remains a mystery after moving to a 4-3 system last year, but for now Olivier Vernon is taking first-team snaps at defensive end during the team's OTA program.

Entering his second season, the 2012 third-round pick had an impressive rookie season in a rotational role, finishing with 3.5 sacks, 32 tackles, and 2 forced fumbles. According to a report from the Miami Herald, Vernon is getting opportunities early as he has been working with the first-team defense, across from All-Pro Cameron Wake.

The decision to start Vernon is one of necessity, not a condemnation of Dion Jordan's skills. 2013's third overall pick remains in Oregon to finish school. The university operates in quarters, rather than semesters -- meaning classes will not end until early June. This will still make Jordan available for the Dolphins in training camp.

It's assumed that Jordan will compete with Vernon in camp, but as it stands the veteran has a leg up on the competition.

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