View Full Version : NFL Scouting Combine: Palko, Getsy eye common goal again

02-24-2007, 11:04 AM

NFL Scouting Combine: Palko, Getsy eye common goal again

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Matt Freed, Post-Gazette
Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko scrambles against Louisville, but this weekend he is scrambling to raise his status for the NFL draft.

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tyler Palko and Luke Getsy are back competing at quarterback this weekend, just like the old days at Pitt.

This time, however, it's not two men for one job, but 20 quarterbacks auditioning for 32 NFL teams, even if it seems as though there really are only two quarterbacks competing -- JaMarcus Russell of LSU and Brady Quinn of Notre Dame.

Russell and Quinn are the darlings of the NFL Combine workouts, the unequivocal first two quarterbacks of the class. After that, there's not a first-rounder in sight and maybe not a second-rounder.

Even Palko drew a question about how Russell and Quinn compare during his 12-minute session at the podium in the press room yesterday.

"They're both good quarterbacks," he answered, showing no impatience at the question. "They're being talked about as the first pick and the first and second quarterbacks being taken in the first round. Apparently, they are doing something right."

So, too, did Palko and Getsy or they would not be here. Both former WPIAL quarterbacks, Palko at West Allegheny High School and Getsy at Steel Valley High, they competed for the starting job at Pitt in 2004, and Palko won. Getsy saw no future in that, transferred to Akron for his final two seasons.

Walt Harris called Getsy selfish for transferring, but Getsy probably would not have been invited to the NFL Combine if he had remained Palko's backup at Pitt.

Peter Diana, Post-Gazette
Akron quarterback Luke Getsy slips away from Penn State's Ed Johnson, but a bigger test will be slipping into the NFL draft.
Click photo for larger image.

"We had battled it out that fall camp," Getsy said. "Coach Harris decided to go with Tyler, and that was his decision. They knew that he was young and they knew they were going to have to stick with him through tough times, and I had to make a quick decision because I had three years to play and, if I was going to transfer, I had to sit out."

Getsy, who followed former Pitt assistant J.D. Brookhart to Akron, threw for 6,117 yards and 41 touchdowns in two seasons for the Zips. Palko passed for 8,330 yards and 69 touchdowns in three seasons with the Panthers.

"Without a doubt, it's great seeing him here," Palko said. "He made a decision and transferred to Akron and had a heck of a career there. It's great to see him here and doing well. There's definitely no hard feelings. We're rooming right next to each other; he's in 202 and I'm in 203. We see each other all the time. And it's good catching up."

Neither is rated among the top quarterbacks in the draft and, while they are hoping to go at least in the middle rounds, it's more likely they will go later, with Palko beating out Getsy again, according to several scouts at the combine.

If that's the case, they can use another former Pittsburgh high school quarterback as inspiration -- Marc Bulger, who made the Pro Bowl this year with the St. Louis Rams. Bulger, who played at Central Catholic, was a sixth-round pick in 2000 by the New Orleans Saints. Cut, he spent time on the practice squads of the Atlanta Falcons and Rams before finally making the Rams' roster, then becoming their starter.

"Where you get drafted has nothing to do with how successful you're going to be in the league," Palko maintained. "Getting your foot in the door and getting drafted is the first thing; once you're in, you have to stay in. People put too much stock in that.

"The only thing that's really different is your signing bonus up front. I haven't had money growing up; I don't know what it's like having money. Anything, I guess, is going to be a step up for me. I don't see myself as a fifth-, sixth-round quarterback."

No, but others apparently do. NFLDraftScout.com ranks Palko as the No. 9 quarterback available with a sixth/seventh-round rating. Getsy is rated No. 16, a free agent. Scout.com lists Palko as the 167th-highest prospect in the draft and does not list Getsy among its first 250.

But they can enhance their status here, especially when they throw for the scouts tomorrow at the RCA Dome.

"I just need to go out and throw well, run fast and do all that stuff," Palko said.

Getsy was more concerned about the intangibles and the incessant interview process that takes place each night from 6-11, players bouncing from team to team.

"I think the interview process is going to be huge for me, let these coaches and GMs get inside my head and see that my knowledge of football is definitely my strongest point," Getsy said. "I'm going to go on the field and show them I've got all of the physical tools as well, just show that I can be an elite quarterback in the NFL."