It really was no surprise last weekend that no one decided to take a chance on former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla in the NFL Draft. Given all of his off-field troubles which resulted in his dismissal from the Ducks last season, plus the issues he had after his departure, Lyerla’s character issues far outweighed what he could do on the field.
Still, while not being worthy of a draft pick, the skills that Lyerla does possess on the field would be enough for a team to bring him in on a tryout basis and that’s exactly what the Green Bay Packers did last week.
When their rookie mini-camp opened up, Lyerla’s name was on the list and he spent some time with the coaching staff and executives.
Following the workouts, Packers GM Ted Thompson explained a little bit about why they brought in the troubled star, and even went so far as to say that it was worth it.
“We did a lot of work on Colt,” Thompson told ESPN.com. “He’s a very talented athlete. We interviewed him at the combine. We went through all those procedures, talked to a lot of people. He’s a young man that made some mistakes, and we feel like he was worth bringing in and taking a look at.”
In a move that was rather smart, Lyerla was not made available to the media during his time at Packers camp in order to keep him solely focused on football, and more importantly, getting his life back together.
So now the question is, will the Packers sign the talented tight end? Well, Thompson still has a lot to think about in that department.
“You weigh it all,” Thompson said. “And every case is an individual case. We have always believed that, or I have always believed that there are certain things that people can atone for, acknowledge their mistakes and get on with their lives. And I am a proponent of those kind of people that try to do that. And that’s where we’re at with Colt.”
Considering the uncertainty surrounding Jermichael Finley, the team has a need at tight end, so if Lyerla can prove to the team that he can keep himself in order, the Packers may have struck gold.