FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - According to Sheldon Richardson, there's only one logical choice for defensive rookie of the year: himself.

"Most definitely," the Jets defensive tackle said Monday as he and his teammates cleaned out their lockers after Sunday's win over the Dolphins in the regular-season finale. "It's not even a question."

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Richardson -- the star of general manager John Idzik's inaugural draft class -- finished fourth in the NFL among defensive linemen with 77 total tackles and had 31/2 sacks. He also had two rushing touchdowns, the most for a defensive lineman in a season since the Bears' William "Refrigerator" Perry in 1985, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

"I am the defensive rookie of the year," he said. "That's just how I feel. If anybody has an opinion about it, they can always state their opinion. It's just me."

When asked for an assessment of his season, the ever-confident Richardson surprisingly said: "[I] wasn't a bust. That's the only thing I tried to do is not be a bust and live up to my first round [draft selection]."