Lyerla recorded only two receptions for 26 yards in 2013 before he was dismissed from the Oregon football team. (Simon Bruty/SI)
While no public reason was ever given as to why Colt Lyerla left Oregon's football program, the talented tight end was arrested for cocaine possession and attempting to flee police after leaving the team.
That, of course, gave NFL teams plenty of reason to pass on Lyerla in the 2014 NFL draft, but the tight end-needy Green Bay Packers decided to bring the former Duck in for a workout. Lyerla excelled during his first two years in the Pac-12, and talent hasn't ever been a concern for the 6-foot-3, 242-pound tight end.
Lyerla impressed during Green Bay's two-day rookie camp last week, though not enough to be offered a contract before festivities came to a close. In the end, Lyerla's talent was too good to pass up, resulting in the Packers signing the Portland native, according to ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky.
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Packers general manager Ted Thompson defended his team's interest in Lyerla, who some believe would have been the No. 2 tight end prospect had there been no red flags.
"You weigh it all," Thompson said Saturday following the conclusion of the rookie camp. "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."
Contractual details have yet to be released.