Oregon Ducks tight end Colt Lyerla (15) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Colt Lyerla is an intriguing piece for the Green Bay Packers


We always pay close attention to the Green Bay Packers right after the draft to see what Ted Thompson may do.

He always seems to find undrafted gems pretty regularly, but the pipeline has been a bit dry since Sam Shields came around during the Super Bowl season. This has admittedly led to some sub-par depth where the Packers generally are one of the best at finding and securing those unknown players who contribute.

So what about this find in Colt Lyerla?

Color me intrigued.

Lyerla is the most-recent addition to the Packers after their tryout period. As you may know this young man is a very talented player who left the Oregon Ducks program his junior year, and then ended up being arrested for cocaine possession. While Lyerla has made a few mistakes in his time, he has been attempting to change his lifestyle in this career comeback.

Green Bay is one of the few programs that is a great fit for Lyerla because of a fantastic coaching staff led by Mike McCarthy, strong leadership in the locker room in quarterback Aaron Rodgers, linebacker Clay Matthews, and receiver Jordy Nelson, and a low-key environment in Green Bay that should keep him off the radar and out of trouble.

There are not many programs that could offer all three of these things. This is the same team that was able to offer Johnny Jolly another chance, and he had an arguably rougher run-in with the law than Lyerla. Jolly also rewarded the Packers faith in him with a pretty good season last year – at least while he was healthy.

The Packers could have gotten a steal out of this pick-up. Lyerla is one of the most talented of all of the tight ends chosen in this year’s draft – arguably to the point where without the off the field issues he could have been neck and neck with top tight end Eric Ebron for the first tight end off the board, even as soon as number 12 to the New York Giants.

Lyerla’s measurables at the combine were simply insane, finishing near the top in the vertical jump, broad jump, and 40-yard dash (in which he finished only 1/100th of a second behind Ebron).

Oregon Ducks tight end Colt Lyerla (15) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lyerla had a pretty good college career as well, finishing with 34 receptions, 565 yards for a 16.6 yard average, and 11 TDs. Lyerla even played well in the H-back role, running for 94 yards on 16 attempts and 2 TDs for a healthy 5.9 yard average. Compare this to Jermichael Finley’s 76 receptions,  947 yards for 12.5 yards averaged, and 5 TDs during his 2-year college career. Finley may have caught more passes, but Lyerla did more with his. Both stand 6-4 and weigh around 240 pounds.

The thing that sticks out to me while watching Lyerla’s highlights in college is his willingness to lower his head and just plow through people. He fights for the ball and pulls it to him with both hands. The other thing I immediately thought when watching the highlights was, “This guy could possibly fill the John Kuhn role next year.” I know he is not the most polished blocker, but watching him out of the backfield is a pleasure, the kid simply fights for extra yardage. With enough training, he could be quite the player.

I could honestly go on and on about Lyerla’s potential, especially in an offense with arguably the best quarterback in the league in Aaron Rodgers utilizing his talent to its full potential. But none of it means anything if he does not stay out of trouble.

Can he do that here?

If there is a single organization in the league that could help him out and give him the support he needs, it is the Packers.

I have to say I am looking forward to seeing what this guy can accomplish in training camp and OTAs, because his film makes me think we could have replaced Finley with an even more talented, possible star in the making.

What do you think about the Packers find in Lyerla?

Good, bad, possibly ugly?

Let us know your thoughts. Leave a comment below, on our Facebook page or when you follow us on Twitter.

Tags: Colt Lyerla Featured Jordy Nelson Popular

  • Mike Brand

    he and hubbard will most likely be 2 udfas that make the team and both will be most likely great players for years to come

    • Peter Maiz

      I agree, with Lyera under good behavior, watch out. I see Davante Adams as lights out, also the future and soon to be a great option in the red zone. Good move, TT!

    • meangreen1

      Mike Brand, you sir are a wise man.

  • ScooniePenn10 .

    as talented as Lyerla is, his past suggests he’ll implode at some point. I hope the packers coaching staff rides him hard and see if he’s changed. My guess is he’ll be fine during the preseason it will be intering to see if they put him on the active roster or put on the practice squad and flush things out,.

    • meangreen1

      The vets will keep Colt in check, a few cleated size 13′s in the rear will keep young Colt in line.

  • trinity

    Is this the same green bay packers team that just called out the 49ers about Aldon Smith? Lyerla is a quitter and a criminal. I guess the packers actually agree with the 49ers. Character doesn’t matter if you can help them get Ws.

    • David Burdette

      I know I’ve never personally called out the 9ers on Smith. I think everyone deserves another chance. But if you get to fourth and fifth chances things are probably not going to change. I wish Smith well and hope he stays out of trouble for his own sake, it’s sad when a kid ruins a promising career with nonsense.

    • Peter Maiz

      Who cares about Smith, young people with new found dough are likely to go overboard now and then. Hopefully Colt can mature and be the monster tractor after the catch. I’ve got to say that TT must be given really high marks during the draft and after the draft. He’s got to be one of the 4 best GM’s in the league, no doubt.

      • RyansDad

        Probably #1

    • meangreen1

      trinity where did you find that lie? Show me where the Packers called out Aldon Smith.

      • Lukeskywalker88

        They call out a Niner debacle whenever one crops up.

      • David Hofstedt

        He can’t meangreen1, he’s a troll trying to stir the pot!

    • David Hofstedt

      Lyerla is a kid that made a mistake and deserves a second chance. Smith is a man who thinks he’s above the law and will be one of the biggest wastes of talent if he stays on the path he’s on now. Smith will be lucky to see the field by 2015. He just went to court for 3 Felony’s, still has the charge at the Airport in LA, and lets not forget last years trouble. Alden Smith, now that’s a CRIMINAL!

      • trinity

        That’s laughable to me. When someone keeps exhibiting the same behavior, it’s not a “mistake”, it’s who they are. Colt and Aldon are in the same boat.

        • David Hofstedt

          The same boat?? Dude they’re not even in the same body of water. Colt made a little ripple in a pond. Smith is like a tidal wave in the Pacific! Same boat, that’s funny!

    • shavager

      YOU associate dropping out and taking drugs with making a felonious bomb threat at an airport and 3 FELONY counts for ILLEGAL weapons? Smith could’ve faced FEDERAL charges and prison, NOTHING Lyerla has done approaches what Smith did. One is the example of a snot-nose brat, the other the actions of someone acting like a THUG!

      • Peter Maiz

        Lyerla quit the Oregon program after he was suspended for a game? And the fact that Green Bay is an idyllic paradise says nothing to me as if the environment is supposed to pacify his short fuse? Lyerla doesn’t have a drug problem, he’s got a personality problem and his only route to success is he matures and works hard. Nothing like hard work to make a young 21 year old change his spots.

        • shavager

          I agree with you Peter, some of these guys HAVE to realize, this is it. Some of’em shouldn’t get second and third chances IF they’re not willing to work hard for it. I’m hoping this guy can turn his opportunity around like Johnny Jolly did. For all of his potential, Jermichael Finley has not shown the improvement at his position like James Jones did. I was all for cutting Jones loose after the 2010 SB title season but he worked hard and was a completely different player with better focus. I’m hoping Finley can, but really think he won’t ever be that kind of player now–don’t think the Pack would use him across the middle as they had previously–it’s hard to think they would put him in a position to be re-injured like that. That’s why I think this Lyerla has an opportunity he won’t have on other teams, especially a team that can compete for playoffs every year. He better grab it while he can, just a look at Finley should make any player realize, it’s here today, could be gone tomorrow just that quickly.

      • trinity

        You call being a coke head and a quitter a “snot nosed brat”?. Do you have children? I hope not. He got caught taking coke and pleaded guilty to the charges. When faced with his suspension, he quit like a coward. Tod mcshay pointed out in an interview that he was called ankle bracelet. That was his nickname, because the team felt he needed one after all the times he would disappear on them. And you say Aldon Smith joked about a bomb? Lyerla tweeted his support of sandy hook shooting conspiracy theories, and his views disturbed the parents of one of the victims, prompting his school to release a letter of remorse on his and the school’s behalf. He is a coward, and a criminal with awful decision making skills. Period.

        • shavager

          YEAH, that’s what most college kids are today–just look around, watch Fox News once in a while and see what they’re doing at SPRING BREAK–DRUGS, Sex, ALCOHOL–what’s different about Lyerla? Aldon Smith MADE A THREAT–A FELONY FEDERAL OFFENSE! Having doubts about the motives or the legitimacy of a shooting event is basically OPINION–HIS, NOT MINE, but the last time I looked OPINION IS FREE SPEECH, or at least it used to be. Nothing he said constitutes a threat to someone else–Aldon Smith’s “joke” as he wants to now say is a COMPLIED THREAT against the safety of others in an airport under Federal regulations–I’d say that’s a HELLUVA lot more serious. Michael Irving, Darren Sharper, John Moffit, Ricky Williams, Thurman Thomas, Todd Marinovich, Lawrence Taylor, Leonard Little–remember those NFL stars? ALL had drug convictions or addictions or criminal acts that affected their lives. Or Don Rogers–former Cleveland Browns player–DEAD of cocaine poisoning. Don’t have to just point out NFL–Josh Hamilton, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Steve Howe, Dock Ellis,Tim Lincecum Major League baseball players, or Michael Phelps, GOLD MEDAL champion swimmer, Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace NBA players, Andre Agassi–tennis, John Daly-golf, Diego Maradona–professional soccer, Lance Armstrong–competitive cycling, etc…the list goes on and on. Lyerla was NOT signed by Packers to continue destructive behavior, he was signed for his potential as a team player IF he’s ready to become a mature professional. Aldon Smith is guilty of 3 FELONY weapons charges, 2 DUI charges, the bomb threat is still working its way through court, word is that the 49ers or the NFL will likely suspend him for the 2014 season and the Niners have dropped any intentions of picking up an option on another contract with Smith. I’d say what Smith has done is far more serious than what Lyerla has done. Packers have little invested in Lyerla, the ball is in his hands as to which direction he’s headed, Aldon Smith could be headed to jail.

          • trinity

            I stopped reading when you falsely stated that “all college kids do that”. I don’t do that. None of my friends do that. You can’t just make a false blanket statement like that just for the sake of helping your own argument. Aldon Smith
            Is a gun toting impulsive idiot who thinks joking about having a bomb at an airport is ok. Colt lyerla is a coke head quitter who thinks tweeting his support of Sandy hook conspiracy theories, to the point of disturbing one of the victims parents with his views, is ok. I would not want either one of them around me or my family and friends, because they are both dangerous, impulsive criminals. If you think they are in different boats, fine. You’re entitled to your opinion. Just like I’m entitled to finding your opinion laughably stupid.

          • shavager

            SEE, even with your college education YOU CAN’T READ CORRECTLY! I specifically said “that’s what ‘most’ college kids are today” a statement of MY OPINION and the opinion of MILLIONS of Americans who watch the degradation of the college atmosphere in those “spring break” reports that have some communities banning them and others having to pay high costs of police monitoring because of the crimes committed and deaths that usually occur. “Most” is the superlative of MUCH–the greatest in amount or quantity; or superlative of MANY–greatest in number! That does NOT judge you or your friends as the rest, NOR does it judge the rest of college students by YOU or your friends! I remind you once again, Lyerla is NOT charged with any crimes and is NOT awaiting trial for any. Aldon Smith is possibly looking at jail time, at the least he’s GONE from Niners and NFL for a substantial time that could include the full season or more and possibly out of a contract for CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS. MOST college kids like Lyerla have experimented with drugs or casually use them–in that regard he’s NO DIFFERENT than the ‘MOST’.

          • trinity

            How can you even say that most do it? Do you know that for a fact? No, you don’t. You’re only talking out of your ass to bolster your own opinion. And lets say for the sake of argument, every single college student in the world was like Colt lyerla. Does that make it right?? Absolutely not it doesn’t. That theory of “it’s not as bad because other people do it” is laughable to me. For instance, I had to do a presentation on serial killers. I read about a ton of them. Just because many people partake in that behavior, did not make the actions of one single killer less abhorrent! On a smaller scale (drugs and quitting), it’s the same damn thing. That’s my opinion on it, and it’s fine with me if you disagree.

          • shavager

            What is your point? That because he used drugs and has shown poor attitude or behavior that the Packers should NOT give him a second chance? Do you really think they care what some smart-ass college kid thinks? They gave him an opportunity with little cost to them as an organization. You continue to hold him to the standard of a CRIMINAL, you can’t compare SERIAL killers with a college athlete who’s doing the same as MILLIONS of other college kids–WHY should he pay a higher price just because an NFL team is willing to give him a chance to better himself? You can’t sit here and tell me or anybody else on this blog YOU don’t have a friend or friends who are doing drugs, if nothing but smoking pot or drinking alcohol. That’s WHO “MOST” college kids and the young people today ARE, go dig you up some polls and you’ll find out IT’S TRUE!

          • trinity

            Didn’t you understand what I said? I said “on a smaller scale”! And what in the world do you mean “what’s my point?”. If you don’t understand my point after all this time debating, then you have been a complete waste of my time. Take care and have a nice day.

    • Rodney Lawler

      Actually I am a 20 years recovered ex addict that argued with Sea-Hawk fans that he needed help not kicked out of football.And don’t even like A Smith I think he leaves before the snap just about every time..

  • shavager

    It’s possible Lyerla is the answer at TE when Pack moves on from Finley. Face it, whether Finley is ever cleared or not, he’s NOT gonna play for Packers for peanuts and Thompson knows it. Thompson may make an offer to Finley once he’s cleared if ever, you can bet there is bigger money out there and Finley knows it, he’ll go where the green is and it ain’t Lambeau for him. Lyerla fits the TE model Packers want, he has better tangibles than the 3rd round compensatory pick Richard Rodgers does and likely would push Quarless and Bostick for the starting spot IF he can stay clean and act like a teammate.

    • Peter Maiz

      That’s a big if. Lyerla is much more talented than R. Rodgers. Yeah, Finley is quite the talent but you’re right, how much money and for how long.
      Green Bay is against a rock and a hard place because if Lyerla flunks because of attitude, we’ll definitely use Quarless and/or Bostick and one or the other will have to play the TE position strongly.
      Finley may not get $$ great offers because of the injury. If so, could TT pull the trigger for reasonable money?

      • shavager

        They wouldn’t take a chance with Nick Collins, I don’t think they’ll chance signing Finley either. Finley is NOT the answer at TE, despite all the “potential” with his size and speed, he is NOT the athlete a Jimmy Graham, Gronk, or Tony Gonzalez is. He just does not have the ability to make those twist around, reach behind catches, heck he doesn’t even make the easy catches. I can remember watching him drop two TD passes in the endzone just a season ago without a DB ever getting their hands on the ball. Even IF Thompson would sign him, you can bet they won’t use him across the middle as they did before–put him in the same pass route that got him injured to start with? NO, so he’s not gonna have the impact he once had except maybe in the redzone. Would you want that one catch that determines a playoff win or SB win come down to depending on Finley to make it?

        • Peter Maiz

          I wouldn’t mind finding a Gronk or Gonzalez. It would be nice if Colt developed that kind of dimention. I think it’s hard finding talent like Gonk and Gonz. And you’re right, I don’t think Finley has gifted hands.

          • shavager

            I’m hoping Lyerla’s ready to play football, gets down to it without losing focus and getting in trouble. IF there’s a TE on roster that might be that TE, I think he could be it. Rodgers has size, loves to hit but has not shown he is a dominating TE that a Graham or Gronk is, don’t see it in Bostick or Quarless either. I kept hearing how great Finley was gonna be, in the games I’ve watched him and I specifically remember the game vs. Lions when Suh stomped on Evan Dietrich-Smith’s arm, Finley dropped a critical 3rd down pass right in his hands. Then I saw him drop TWO TD’s in the endzone in ’12–one against the Vikings that was right in his hands across the goal line and he dropped it like a hot potato without a DB even touching it. Most of all, I remember the game in ’12 against the lowly Jaguars when Packers should’ve blown’em out and only pulled away in 4th quarter for a win–on one play Rodgers ran all the way over to Finley before softly throwing the pass to him as if he was terrified Finley would drop it in game the Jags still had an shot at beating Packers in. And we know Finley’s had a problem blaming his QB about not getting enough touches when he was dropping some that he shouldn’t have. He’s just never shown inspiration to be achieve the next level of play like JJones did after he had so many drops in the ’10 SB season. I’ve seen JJones make a bunch of circus catch plays and TD’s on those catches, just have not seen ability of Finley to even make some easy catches at critical times in games.

          • Ben Brier

            You must not remember the cardinals packers wild card game in 2009.

          • shavager

            Don’t get your mention of that game, if you’re talking about Finley, I’m remembering TD passes dropped in endzone in past couple of seasons, I remember the critical 3rd down drops vs. Lions in Turkey Day game that Suh stomped on ED-Smith’s arm while he was on ground and numerous other times the ball’s just bounced off hands of Finley without any DB touching it. Those instances are SINCE that 2009 game. They used to call it “CHOKE”, that’s what Jones problem in ’10 was. Yeah, though I didn’t get to see that complete game, I did remember that GB had NO defense once again under Dom Capers and that defense allowed the Cards to outscore Rodgers and offense (156 rushing yds. 379 passing yds for Kurt Warner and 5 TD passes), the same as they’ve done for 3 CONSECUTIVE seasons in the playoffs, even though the game was won because the refs just refused to call personal fouls against Cards defense on two consecutive plays including the facemask penalty that caused Rodgers to fumble the ball into the air and Cards’ Karlos Dansby running it in for the winning TD that shouldn’t have counted. Yeah, you can’t count on refs getting the calls right, it’s a MUST that players be accountable for their failures when they lose, especially when those failures are most responsible for the loss, that’s WHY Ted Thompson has now drafted 19 NEW defensive players and SIGNED 10 UDFA’s since 2010 to FIX Capers’ defense as well as adding FA’s such as Julius Peppers, Latroy Guion and others. That’s enough players to completely REMAKE a defense more than TWO TIMES OVER!

          • Peter Maiz

            Agree, 6 of 11 passes is pretty pathetic especially for a Green Bay receiver. 6 of 11 will lose the game. I don’t think too much of R. Rogers, he’s strictly draft and develop. Plus he’s a nice kid that can catch but does he have the what it takes to get slammed after the catch and still tractor his way for another 10-15 yards? TE’s have got to have that mean streak and toughness and be explosive after the catch. But you’re right, it defeats the purpose to have Finley not catching consistently.
            Lyerla was an incredible running back in high school and knows about hard pounding.

          • shavager

            Agree Peter, Rodgers might make the team at the expense of Ryan Taylor or Jake Stoneburner but I don’t think he’s much of a threat to Bostick or Quarless unless he really shows something in camp he didn’t in college. Lyerla has shown that talent, he looks more like the talent Packers want in the TE position. Rodgers likes to hit and block, I’m wondering if he has what it takes to play special teams like Taylor excels at. For a guy who only caught two TD’s in college at TE position, he’s gonna have to prove he’s a go to guy in redzone or Pack is better off with another body on the field at TE–so do they keep this guy just for blocking? Wouldn’t surprise me to see him get the PS designation over in-house players like Taylor depending on camp performance. I just hope we get to see Lyerla perform at the level he’s capable of without immaturity getting in the way of potential.

          • Peter Maiz

            Colt has the potential to keep the Pack riding high on offense. I also see a lot of promise with our new rook Davante.

          • shavager

            I’m intrigued with the late selection of WR Jeff Janis, he’s approx same size, build as Jordy Nelson, I read somewhere that he’s actually faster than Jordy–can’t hurt to have SPEED at WR, especially with two or more on field on same plays. I think we could see more 5 WR sets on offense for Packers. Imagine a defense getting pounded by Lacy, then having to chase down the faster Starks when he comes in to substitute for Lacy, followed up by two speedy receivers in a 5 receiver set, especially IF McCarthy gets his head out of rear and sticks with the no huddle in a dramatic drive before half or end of game. For all the great games they’ve played, I’ve seen McCarthy pull some bonehead decisions that kills momentum when the no huddle is eating up defenses, such as lining up in a run play that everybody in the stadium knows is coming. Jordy, Cobb, Adams, Boykin or Abbedaris AND Janis lined up–be a DC’s nightmare to cover.

          • Peter Maiz

            Janis runs a sub 4.40 at 40 yards. 4.38, I think. I like him too and he very much is the Jordy type. With lots of WR’s I would love him make the team. If he’s taught the ins-and-outs of the program, and with that speed, he can be a Rodgers weapon. He loves the weights and is a very hard worker. When all is said and done, it’s the hard workers that can have great careers.

  • Richard Watkins

    Lyerla knows of the mistakes he’s made. I appears remorseful and I think he’ll take advantage of his second opportunity and showthe world what a dominant pass catching te he is