Billed as Jalen Ramsey vs. OBJ, A.J. Bouye will factor into Jags' success vs. Giants

Cornerback A.J. Bouye led the Jaguars in interceptions (six) and pass breakups (18) last season. Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The marquee matchup of the NFL's opening weekend is Jacksonville's Jalen Ramsey vs. New York's Odell Beckham Jr.

It should be some amazing theater. The trash-talking Ramsey is arguably the best cornerback in the league. The colorful Beckham just became the NFL's highest-paid receiver and makes spectacular catches look ordinary. The one-on-one battles between the two will play a significant role in determining which team wins the game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

So will how well A.J. Bouye handles Beckham.

Ramsey will get Beckham a lot, but not exclusively. Bouye also will draw Beckham some, and that should be every bit as good a show because Bouye is one of the NFL's top corners, too. Beckham won't have it any easier against Bouye than Ramsey.

"A.J. is just as talented as Jalen when it comes to being a cornerback," Jaguars safety Barry Church said. "He proved that last year. He led our team in interceptions. He's one of the stickiest corners that there is in the game today, so I have just as much confidence in him as I do Jalen."

Bouye actually had a better statistical season than Ramsey in 2017, leading the Jaguars in interceptions (six) and pass breakups (18), and per Pro Football Focus had the lowest passer rating (31.6) when targeted of any cornerback in the NFL (Ramsey was PFF's second-highest graded cornerback). Bouye didn't give up a touchdown pass until the divisional round of the playoffs against Pittsburgh.

That came against Antonio Brown, and it was something that bothered Bouye so much -- especially since he had success against Brown an the October game -- that he spent time with Brown at the Pro Bowl learning from his mistakes.

"He saw how I kind of played him in the first game and he adjusted and I didn't," Bouye said. "He was showing me some of the stuff he was doing, and he was doing it in the walk-through [at the Pro Bowl]. I was just like, 'All right. I am going to start playing that [style] and work on certain things with my body just to stay stronger at the top of the route.'"

Bouye was annoyed he wasn't named a first-team All-Pro -- Ramsey was, but Bouye was named to the second team -- and that has fueled him during the offseason.

"I still do not get a lot of respect," Bouye said. "Nothing is wrong with that. I appreciate it, because it motivates me even more. I just feel like it was just the beginning. It was my first time in the scheme, and now that I have learned it, I know how they are going to attack us, and I'm always adapting to that."

Where Ramsey is loud and boisterous, Bouye is quiet and calm, and that's a large reason why the Ramsey-Beckham matchup is drawing much more attention than the Bouye-Beckham matchup. That's a mistake, because it'll be every bit as entertaining, said ESPN Insider Louis Riddick, a former NFL player, scout and pro personnel director.

"A.J. Bouye can cover anybody," Riddick said. "He can cover anybody in the league. He just happens to play on the other side of a guy who may be one of those guys -- I don't want to say redefines cornerback play, but we'll be talking about hopefully in years to come in [Ramsey] being one of those guys who was the standard because of how different he was with his height, his weight, his speed, and his playmaking ability.

"A.J. on any other football in a big market, you're talking about him as one of the very, very best in the NFL. But people who know football know he is one of the very, very best in the NFL."

That's what the Jaguars hope Beckham comes to realize Sunday afternoon, too.