Ike Taylor is no stranger to being on an island. The former Steelers cornerback helped Pittsburgh win two Super Bowls during his 12-year career. In this series, Taylor will feature one pertinent cornerback on "Ike's Island," where he breaks down the player's on-field play and significance heading into the coming week. In addition, he lists his updated top-10 cornerback rankings.
Featured on Ike's Island this week ...
While many tuning into the Broncos-Bengals game will have their eyes on how cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib fare against receivers A.J. Green and Brandon LaFell, I'll be watching the matchup on the inside. Broncos nickel corner Bradley Roby -- a guy I called one of the league's most valued defensive backs in the offseason -- will try to stall Bengals rookie Tyler Boyd.
Roby is one of the most exotic players on the field and the Jenga piece to this dominant Denver defense. Being a nickel corner, Roby has a lot of room to work with and must cover a larger area than his fellow CBs (from the hash to the sideline). He is one of the team's best man-to-man cover corners. In two games, Roby has given up three receptions -- all to Carolina's Kelvin Benjamin -- so I'm curious to see how he does against another young receiver this week. Boyd has strong hands and is a great route runner. In his first two NFL contests, he has hauled in eight receptions for 102 yards.
Week 3 cornerback rankings: My top 10
Once again, it's clear as day why Sherman belongs in this spot. Against the Rams last week, the lanky corner gave up one reception (on four targets) for 8 yards.
Talib had a great performance in Week 2 vs. Indianapolis, giving up two receptions on seven targets for 23 yards and returning an interception to the house. He allowed the fourth-lowest completion rate (28.6 percent) in the league when targeted on at least three plays in Week 2. Chris Harris Jr. gets a lot of credit in this defense, but Talib's recognition of formations and routes has him performing at a high level.
Harris is a wonderful tackler. Even when receivers get the ball, they aren't gaining yards after the catch (YAC) against Harris. Last week against deep threat T.Y. Hilton, he gave up just 8 yards on two targets. I expect Denver's top two corners -- Harris and Talib -- to dominate A.J. Green and Co. on the perimeter.
Despite another solid performance -- giving up one reception (on three targets) for 5 yards -- Norman slipped down one spot because of the solid games from the five guys above him. When Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. met on the gridiron last year, it was all the rage for weeks ... months actually. Heck, we're still talking about it.
Reports have said Norman will shadow Beckham, but the CB said on Wednesday that he "didn't get the memo." I hope these two line up across from one another more often than not this weekend in the Meadowlands. If they do, I expect the first-year Redskin to give up yards but no touchdowns.
Against Texans playmaker DeAndre Hopkins, you'd expect most corners to lose. However, Peters showed he's one of the best after intercepting quarterback Brock Osweiler twice and defending four passes on Sunday. Last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year did give up 42 yards and a touchdown on six targets to Hopkins, but to me, his takeaways offset what he's giving up.
Last season, the Texansranked third against the pass, giving up 210.4 passing yards per game. Joseph is a solid man-to-man corner who allowed Kansas City's Jeremy Maclin to gain 30 yards on six targets a week ago. With the Patriots down to their third-string QB -- given Tom Brady's suspension and Jimmy Garoppolo's shoulder injury -- I expect Joseph and this Texans secondary to dominate rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett.