Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey felt proud of what he accomplished during the 2020 season.
A divisional round playoff loss to the Packers in Green Bay obviously wasn't the result he or the team wanted, he emphasized, but it didn't take away from the fact that he felt he put together his best season as a pro.
"The year didn't end how we wanted it to as a team, but there are some positives to take away from it," Ramsey said during an end-of-season video conference on Sunday. "Personally, for me, I feel like I had probably my best year in my NFL career thus far. I feel like I put out the best body of work out that I've ever put out."
While no one knows Ramsey and his game better than himself, of course, end-of-season awards and accolades from external evaluators certainly reinforced his case.
He was named to his fourth Pro Bowl, second All-Pro First Team by The Associated Press, and second All-NFL and All-conference teams by the Professional Football Writers of America after a season in which Pro Football Focus (PFF) says he allowed the fewest receiving yards (309) in coverage among 33 cornerbacks with 500 or more coverage snaps in the regular season. Furthermore, per PFF, only one receiver guarded by Ramsey surpassed 50 receiving yards in a single game – the Cowboys' Amari Cooper, who had 57 on seven receptions in Week 1.
Per NFL Research and PFF compiled prior to the divisional round, here's what happened after Week 1:
- Week 3 vs. Bills, Stefon Diggs: 1 reception, 4 yards, 1 touchdown
- Week 5 vs. Washington, Terry McLaurin: 0 receptions
- Week 7 vs. Bears, Allen Robinson: 1 reception, 42 yards
- Week 10 vs. Seahawks, DK Metcalf: 0 receptions
- Week 11 vs. Buccaneers, Mike Evans: 4 receptions, 40 yards
- Week 13 vs. Cardinals, DeAndre Hopkins: 3 receptions, 20 yards
- Week 16 vs. Seahawks, Metcalf: 1 reception, 11 yards
- Week 17 vs. Cardinals, Hopkins: 2 receptions, 28 yards
- Wild Card round of playoffs vs. Seahawks, Metcalf: 3 receptions, 33 yards
Diggs was a fellow First Team All-Pro and All-NFL selection for this season, Hopkins and Metcalf Second Team All-Pro selections. Diggs was also named to the All-NFL team, Hopkins the All-NFC team. The trio of Diggs, Hopkins and Metcalf were also named to this year's Pro Bowl.
Ramsey said it's a credit to the work done by cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant.
"I think I've said this before in one of these media sessions, I've taken my game to another level, and in my opinion, this is the best body of work that I've put out in the NFL, a lot of that is thanks to him," Ramsey said.
And he did all of this while lining up in the secondary at cornerback and the "star" hybrid defensive back position in former defensive coordinator Brandon Staley's scheme.
"He's a very complete player – size, speed are critical factors for the position," Staley said on Jan. 5. "He's an outstanding open field tackler. He can play man-to-man, from bump-and-off. He can play the ball in the deep part of the field. He's got position flexibility. He's got a mind that allows him to play different positions and play them at a high level. He's as fierce of a competitor as you're going to find."