The Sudden Popularity of Tony Pike in Cleveland

Samuel IngroAnalyst IDecember 24, 2009

The sudden popularity of Tony Pike has him shooting up Cleveland fans' mock drafts faster than a Josh Cribbs kickoff return.

With a particularly weak quarterback class this coming offseason—and the unwillingness of most Browns fans to want to spend yet another first round pick on a quarterback—has left most people turning towards Cincinnati Bearcat Tony Pike.

However, besides the name and a few highlights, what do you know of Pike?

There's no denying his intelligence: He has a keen football IQ that has helped lead him all season in Cincinatti's spread offense. He's has great character, and his leadership skills on the field are more than adequate. He has a clean spiral and doesn't force the ball into bad situations.

On the other hand, he lacks the agility to avoid a pass rush. Something in Cleveland that has bad news written all over it, especially given his lack of bulk to go with his 6-foot-6 frame.

He has extremely weak arm strength that is only slightly better than the passer currently starting in brown and orange already. His deep passes float seemingly forever—a nightmare in the NFL.

Unless Cleveland moves to a West Coast offense next year under Mike Holmgren, the Browns may very well have a less agile Brady Quinn on their hands again. There's a reason Pike isn't projected til the third round, even after leading the Bearcats to the Sugar Bowl this season.

Before throwing your support behind a less experienced "upgrade," I implore you to do your research and know what you're asking for.

Tony Pike's numbers look good this season, but there's more to numbers when projecting a successful transition to the NFL. If college numbers were what counted, Brady Quinn would be starting in the Pro Bowl this season.

If Pike does fall to the third round, he might be worth taking the chance on, given that there are three picks in the round, but be forewarned most scouts are projecting him as simply a solid backup.

Given his skill-set, I for one, will not be surprised.