Colt Lyerla NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Packers TE

Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2014

In this Feb. 22, 2014 photo, Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Lyerla, who sat stone-faced at a table taking question after question from the media about how he turned his life around following a cocaine arrest last fall, will face tougher questions from NFL teams. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy

Colt Lyerla, TE, Formerly with Oregon (HT: 6'3⅞", WT: 242 lbs)

Green Bay Packers: Signed as Undrafted Free Agent on May 19, 2014

NFL Comparison: Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

Combine Weigh In
603724232 3/4"10 1/4"
Combine Workout
40-Yard DashBench PressVerticalBroad Jump3-Cone DrillShuttle


  • Impressive athlete with a nice blend of size, speed and agility for the position.
  • Has enough speed to stretch the field in certain matchups.
  • Quick off the snap and builds speed quickly, which will give certain linebackers and safeties issues in man coverage.
  • A matchup nightmare who can give linebackers issues with his speed, but can cause trouble for defensive backs due to his size.
  • Lined up all over the field at Oregon: in the slot, on the line and from the H-back position.
  • Demonstrates great body control and an ability to adjust to poorly placed passes.
  • Impressive leaping ability helps to make up for his modest height and makes him a threat in jump-ball situations.
  • A very smooth athlete who moves well and is capable of making crisp, explosive cuts, giving him elite potential as a route-runner.
  • Elite ability after the catch, both in terms of pure speed as well as an ability to make guys miss in the open field and occasionally break some tackles.



  • Athleticism is elite, but measurables are below average for the position.
  • He's shorter than most pass-catching tight ends (just under 6'4") and has relatively short arms.
  • Routes are sloppy. He doesn't run straight routes, even when unimpeded by the defense, and his cuts are frequently rounded off.
  • Surprisingly ineffective at fighting through linebackers trying to throw him off his route. Doesn't show great balance and sometimes lacks the awareness to even anticipate the hit.
  • Extremely inconsistent effort as a blocker.
  • Has moments when he gets intense and fights hard as a blocker, but also has moments when he barely even feigns interest and easily gets tossed aside.
  • Frequently loses balance and slides off his blocks. Also tends to lunge and often whiffs on linebackers at the second level.
  • Minor injury concerns due to a leg injury in 2011.
  • Played in just three games in 2013 prior to leaving team.
  • Significant off-the-field concerns (see Personal Notes section).


Collegiate Statistics

Personal Notes

  • Suspended for one game in 2013 for a violation of team rules, leaving the team the following week.
  • Though Lyerla told that he left the team for personal reasons and on good terms with the program, head coach Mark Helfrich vaguely described his departure as due to "circumstances" when speaking with reporters.
  • Arrested for cocaine possession October 2013 and pled guilty in December.
  • Tweeted about conspiracy theories regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, later apologizing.
  • Honorable mention All-Pac-12 in 2012.
  • All-State running back and linebacker in high school.


Ratings Chart

Chart created at



Focusing strictly on Lyerla's physical tools, it's easy to see why he's an intriguing prospect. His athleticism and explosiveness are impressive for the tight end position.

However, he's also extremely raw and offers almost no immediate value. Much like Jimmy Graham when he entered the league in 2010, Lyerla will struggle to see the field early in his career because his football skills are underdeveloped.

Lyerla's ability to develop his tools is entirely in his control. He has the talent to be a starter in the NFL, but he needs to stay focused and out of trouble. As a late-round pick, his future employer will waste no time cutting him loose if he slips up.


Draft Projection

Seventh-round pick or undrafted free agent.