Tony Pike

Tony Pike

Quarterback

Senior

Cincinnati

6’ 6” 225 lbs.

Strengths: Size, Awareness, Accuracy, Intelligence

Weaknesses: Inconsistency, Big Game Struggles, Deep Ball Touch, Athleticism

By Bryan Dietzler

If there is an NFL team out there, and there are several, that might be interested in a quarterback that they could develop for the future than Pike might just be their kind of guy.  Pike helped thrust the Cincinnati Bearcats into the national spotlight and lead them to a BCS game but as Pike has shown us he has had trouble playing in those big games and didn’t fare too well against the Florida Gators.  Pike is an interesting prospect though and has a lot of potential if he lands with the right team.

The first positive thing that that Pike brings to the table is his size.  At 6’6” and 225 pounds, Pike can surely stand up to the pounding that he will get in the NFL.  His height will allow him to easily see over his offensive linemen and get the ball down the field better.  This is something that the NFL scouts will definitely covet.  Pike is also well adept at dropping back to pass and his drop backs are crisp and mechanically sound. 

Pike is also well adept at sitting in the pocket, able to feel the rush and move around the pocket accordingly.  This would be a plus to any NFL team.  He also has decent arm strength and can get the ball down the field with some zip but his long ball isn’t the best.  He is also right on the mark with his passes most of the time and can get those passes into tight coverage.  He throws a tight spiral most of the time and gets good timing on his throws.

When it comes to football intelligence Pike is one of the best in this draft.  He can read defenses well and is smart when it comes to playing the game.  He makes good decisions and makes them quickly when they need to be made.  Pike is also a good character person and hasn’t run into any trouble while at Cincinnati.

The downside to Pike mechanically is that he will sometimes put too much air under his passes and this was evidenced in their bowl game this year.  Speaking of bowl games, Pike has traditionally not played very well in bowl games especially in the 2009 Orange Bowl and his showing against Florida was horrid.  Since Pike took a lot of his snaps in the shotgun while at Cincinnati he may struggle a little bit getting used to taking them under center.  He also doesn’t have a long track record of being consistent and just finally started to get great consistency this season.  While Pike is a good pocket passer he is not that good when he is forced out of the pocket and made to go on the run and this would hurt him the eyes of NFL scouts. 

Physically, while Pike is tall he is lean and his lean frame may not be able to stand up to a typical NFL pounding that quarterbacks get during their careers.  Adding bulk might make him a little bit too big (he is 225 lbs) so whichever team drafts him will have to determine what is the best way to add some size.  Also, Pike doesn’t have a lot experience as he didn’t start until his junior year at Cincinnati so he doesn’t have the experience that you might like in a senior quarterback.

Pike does not possess a strong arm although he can throw the long ball from time to time fairly well.  He is also not a great athlete and looks a little awkward when he is out trying to evade the pass rush.  He will, at times, stand in the pocket and not move around and look unnatural back there throwing the ball.  When it comes to getting the ball to receivers in coverage, there are times when he won’t put a lot of velocity on the ball and that is dangerous in the NFL.  He doesn’t have the best overall skill for the position and even though he has played in some big games (in which he hasn’t done too well) he played at Cincinnati which doesn’t traditionally play tough teams.  Pike is also 24 years old, older than the average rookie, which may make some NFL teams shy away from taking him.

Injuries: Pike broke his non throwing arm in 2008 but came back in for their game against Connecticut and played.  He has had no other glaring injuries. 

Some of the honors that Pike has received while at Cincinnati are as follows:

2009-Named All Big East First Team (coaches).  Finalist for the Manning Award.  Named Big East Offensive Player of the Week for December 7th.

2008: Named to the All Big East second team, named 2008 Phil Steele 2008 All Big East second team.

2005: On the Bearcat Academic Honor Roll

High School: Pike went to Reading High School in the Cincinnati area and was named the Cincinnati Division two and three player of the year, Cincinnati Hills League and Southwest Ohio Player of the Year, and was selected to be a member of the East-West all start game.

Overall: Pike is a prospect that that should interest a lot of NFL teams but unless he lands in the right system he may wind up as a backup in most schemes.  He has a lot of room to develop though and could end up surprising a lot of people somewhere down the road but when he gets drafted, he’s going to sit for a while and learn and then quite possibly make his appearance as a starter in a year or two.

Projected Round: Pike could go anywhere from the late third round to the early sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.