Cornerback A.J. Bouye signed a five-year, $67.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, which means he will facing off against his former teammates twice in 2017.
When Houston and Jacksonville clash, Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins suggested the Jaguars would be better off if Bouye covered him on big plays instead of Jalen Ramsey because Ramsey isn’t up to the task.
“I told A.J. if he goes to [Jacksonville] then he better be the dude guarding me on third down instead of Jalen because he couldn’t get the job done,” Hopkins said, via Alex Del Barrio of Sports Radio 610. “I love A.J., but hopefully he’s the one guarding me on third down to win the game next year for those guys. They might have a better chance.”
Ramsey has had his fair share of criticism from opposing receivers, but Hopkins’ assertion may be a little unwarranted. In two games against the Jaguars last season, he caught 13 passes for 135 yards, which aren’t exactly stunning statistics by any means. His successes on third down (a late conversion in the first game and a pass interference call on Ramsey in the second) were counterchecked by incompletions and a tackle by Ramsey that prevented Hopkins from picking up a new set of downs. Ramsey also batted a pass away from Hopkins on a fourth down conversion in the end zone in the second Jaguars-Texans matchup of 2016.
However, it won’t matter how good any team’s secondary is if Hopkins doesn’t have a competent quarterback throwing passes to him. While we can bank on Brock Osweiler not being Houston’s signal caller in 2017, we can’t be completely sure it will be Tom Savage (who came off the bench to replace Osweiler and lead the Texans to a narrow 21-20 victory over the Jaguars in their second meeting), Tony Romo, or someone from the draft. That will have a major impact on how effective Hopkins will be on any down.