6’6 | 223 pounds | QB | Cincinnati
Accuracy: Throws a smooth, catchable ball. During the season, Pike showed good accuracy to each sideline and over the middle. The timing of his passes was exceptional, particularly on quick slants and outs. What receivers love most about Pike is that he puts the ball in an area that allows them run after the catch, and that he doesn’t hang them out to dry. Shows good float on deep balls, and throws the ball with great timing. Looks in-sync with receivers, placing the ball on either shoulder as needed. Our only complaint is that Pike can short-throw receivers, giving defenders the ability to cut inside and make a play on the ball.
Arm Strength: For as accurate as he is, Pike does not have great arm strength. When compared with other quarterbacks in the class, Pike grades out in the middle of the pack. He can throw deep when needed, but his short to intermediate passes lack zip and velocity. His passes do have a pretty spiral, but there is noticeable movement on deep balls. Too many floated passes over the middle lead to interceptions and passes knocked down.
Decision Making: Is a smart player and can recognize a defense. Saw him make many smart plays against zone defenses after correctly reading the safety. Is aided by his height, which allows him to see the entire field. Does stare-down his #1 read too often. When playing against better defenses we did see many passes batted down and routes jumped- which tells us he is telegraphing his passes.
Mechanics: Is one of many shotgun-style quarterbacks in the 2010 class. Pike does have some experience under center and showed good footwork in the off-season when working under center and in his drop step. Is tall coming out from under center, but gets good knee bend and flexion when taking his drop.
Carries the ball high and tucks his throwing elbow in to his body. The balls comes over the top 90% of the time, but he knows when to use a little side arm in the moment. Has a good follow through and flick. Did show a wide-up delivery when pressured, something that will take time and experience to fix.
Does a nice job stepping up in the pocket, something few college quarterbacks are capable of. His play-action is nice, and he does a good job re-establishing his reads. Not much of a pump-fake.
Mobility: Will leave the pocket too soon, despite not being the biggest quarterback. Does have good quickness, but has poor ball protection habits.
Pocket Awareness: Quicker than many think, Pike turned in a nice 40 time (4.76) and 10 yard split (1.69). Pike has the speed to get outside the pocket, but his long-lanky frame makes him a liability on the move. Feels and sees pressure well, but is too quick to run away. Could step up and away in the pocket better. Does not have the arm strength to fade away from the rush and throw.
Final Word: A two-year starter for the Bearcats, Pike has the look of a franchise quarterback. The biggest question mark is his durability; Pike missed time during his senior season with a broken forearm and many question his stature.
The biggest questions are his durability and character. Pike is smart enough to be a starter, and throws a good enough ball to make plays.