Ike Taylor is no doubt the best cornerback on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The question is, how good will he be this season?
When healthy, Taylor can be deadly for the Steelers. For example, when the Steelers were playing the Ravens last year in Pittsburgh, Taylor had to cover receiver Torrey Smith for the whole game. He limited Smith, one of the league’s best deep threats, to one reception for just six yards.
Usually, no one can do that to Smith because of his speed. Taylor did have help from safety Ryan Clark at times during the game, but it was mostly all him. If Ike can do that to top threat receivers all season, there is a possibility that he will be in contention with Darrelle Revis for the best cover corner in the whole NFL.
The Steelers cannot afford to lose Taylor to injury this season. If they lose him to any amount of time – whether it would be small or long term – it could damage the Steelers’ playoff chances severely. William Gay is just not good enough to fill in for Ike. He’ll get burned a lot on long passing plays.
I also don’t think Cortez Allen can step up and lead the Steelers’ cornerbacks either. This is his first full season being a starter and I believe he’ll be a bit nervous, at least at the beginning.
Usually he plays as a nickel defensive back, where he was good last year. He played well in that role in a few games, but I don’t think he can be as good at cornerback.