Palko played as a reserve during his true freshman season, but redshirted as a sophomore as Rod Rutherford let the Pitt offensive attack. In his first year as a starter in 2004, Palko responded with All Big East 2nd Team honors after finishing the year with 3,067 yards with a 56.2% completion rate, and 24 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. As a junior he took a step back in Dave Wannstedt’s first year as coach. He again earned Big East 2nd Team honors, but he dipped to just 2,392 yards with 17 TD’s to nine picks, while completing 56.6% of his passes. Palko went out on top with his best overall year as a senior. He threw for 2,871 yards with an amazing 68.3% completion rate, and 25 touchdowns to just nine picks.
Palko is a player that could really develop at the next level. He is an efficient signal caller that has been very successful for Pitt. He shows the toughness to stand in the pocket and take a hit while delivering the football. Palko has the ability to pick apart a secondary when he is given time in the pocket. He is also a better athlete than most give him credit for. He can move in and out of the pocket, and can make some plays with his feet.
Palko lacks the prototypical height and arm strength for the QB spot. His arm is not poor, but he doesn’t have a cannon. His height may cause him some problems seeing the entire field behind his line while in the pocket. Palko has also had the tendency to try and force some big plays and it leads to questionable decisions at times.
Tyler Palko has the toughness and leadership skills you want in your quarterback. He combines that with solid ability as a passer and enough ability as a runner to be a threat when things break down. He doesn’t have the talent package to be a high pick, but he is a player that may out perform his draft position in a few years.