HEROIC Carlton superstar Patrick Cripps is on track to pull off a feat achieved by just three players this century.
The inspirational co-captain leads the AFL.com.au Brownlow predictor with 10 votes, having polled in his opening five matches, despite his side posting just one victory in that time.
Assuming the Blues miss out on September action, Cripps would be the first winner from a non-finalist since Matt Priddis took 'Charlie' home in 2014 when West Coast finished ninth.
BROWNLOW PREDICTOR Check out AFL.com.au's votes so far
Modern-day great Gary Ablett did it the previous season at Gold Coast, while brilliant Richmond midfielder Trent Cotchin shared the award with Hawthorn champion Sam Mitchell in 2012, after Jobe Watson was stripped of the Brownlow as part of his penalties for the Essendon drugs scandal.
Closely trailing Cripps on the leaderboard is prolific Brisbane recruit Lachie Neale on nine votes.
Sharing third place on eight are a couple of Cats – Patrick Dangerfield and Tim Kelly – along with resurgent Port Adelaide ball-magnet Tom Rockliff.
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Kelly's rise to the upper echelon of the competition's onballers is particularly interesting considering the battle for his services are heating up.
The 24-year-old's contract is set to expire at season's end, with West Coast and Fremantle in hot pursuit to bring the star back home, while Geelong is desperately trying to lock Kelly in.
His manager Anthony Van Der Wielen met with Cats officials on Monday but as AFL.com.au reported first, there is no imminent decision on where he will ply his trade beyond this year.
His incumbent club hopes to have an answer before the campaign concludes.
On another note, one to watch out for is highly skilled Collingwood big man Brodie Grundy. He's on a hot streak, having put together all seven of his votes in the past three games, and has established himself as the AFL's dominant ruckman.
There's a bit of value there too. Grundy is paying $41 with BetEasy to be declared the first ruckman to win the Brownlow since Adam Goodes won it alongside Mark Ricciuto and Nathan Buckley in 2003.