Jaguars rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey is a special player.
The 6-foot-1, 211-pound cornerback is tied for first among rookies with 15 pass breakups. He is tied for second among rookies with two interceptions. He is one of only two rookies with 60 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a defensive touchdown.
He is the first Jaguars rookie to return an interception for a touchdown in franchise history. He is the only Jaguars cornerback with an interception this season and leads the team with two.
If you've seen him play on a consistent basis, you know that he should be measured on more than just his numbers.
Ramsey has held the likes of DeAndre Hopkins, T.Y. Hilton and Demaryus Thomas to pedestrian numbers as a rookie and he is already among the best run defenders at the cornerback position.
As a rookie, the Jaguars are already asking him to shadow opposing team's top wide receivers.
Yes, his team is 3-12. Yes, he plays in a small market. Yes, his head coach got fired in the middle of the season.
I fail to see how any of that fairly reflects on Ramsey's candidacy for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (DROY) award.
From giving full-on effort on special teams while down two scores to breaking up passes thrown to Pro Bowl wide receivers, Ramsey has answered the call on every challenge he has been met with this year.
To make matters even more impressive, the Jaguars have gone from the Bottom 5 to the Top 5 when it comes to pass defense since Ramsey joined the squad. Jacksonville has held that position for the majority of the season with Ramsey as the No. 1 cornerback.
The Jaguars are allowing 58 yards less per game this season. Ramsey has been a large factor in that statistic.
He doesn't allow big gains often and typically tackles receivers immediately after the catch.
Over the last two games, Ramsey has produced eight tackles, a forced fumble, two interceptions, one defensive touchdown and nine pass breakups. He continues to improve as the season moves along.
Ramsey's biggest competitors for the DROY are San Diego Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa and Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones.
Both players have produced fantastic rookie seasons.
Jones in particular is packing the stat sheet. He leads all rookies in tackles and defensive touchdowns. He is also tied for the most interceptions among rookies and is tied for second in pass breakups. With 102 tackles, 11 pass breakups, three interceptions, two defensive touchdowns and a forced fumble to his credit, Jones is probably the favorite for the award. The Falcons are 10-5 so far this season, which helps Jones' cause.
Bosa has been a sacks machine this year with 9.5 quarterback takedowns. That said, outside of leading rookies in sacks, he doesn't jump out in the numbers game. He has only appeared in 11 games (10 starts) for the Chargers and San Diego has only won five games this season. He is probably in a similar boat to Ramsey.
The competition becomes even more interesting when you consider the impact the rookies have seemingly had on their defensive units.
The Falcons currently rank 26th against the pass and 16th versus the run. Last year, Atlanta ranked 18th against the pass and 14th versus the run.
The Chargers rank 18th against the pass and 10th against the run. Last year, they ranked tied for 14th versus the pass and 27th versus the run.
One player doesn't make up an entire unit, but you when look at the area where the Jaguars have significantly improved, you'll see Ramsey is probably the largest contributor. The Falcons are down as a defense this year, while the Chargers are a better run team, but are worse against the pass.
The DROY voting is based on educated opinions. If I were to select one of these three players, I would go with Ramsey, given his impact on the Jaguars defense and secondary.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.