Lyerla is a physical marvel with excellent athleticism, good hand-eye coordination and toughness after the catch. He possesses impressive straight-line speed, as well as the agility and balance to operate in space.Perhaps due to the incredible talent competing for the ball at Oregon, he never emerged as a statistically dominant player in Eugene. He caught just two passes for 26 yards in an abbreviated 2013 campaign and his career-high 25 catches for 392 yards and six scores in 2012 aren't exactly eye-popping, given his size and athleticism. Capable of lining up at tight end as well as receiver, athletic seam threats like Lyerla have never been more popular than now and he is clearly a first round talent.While he possesses tantalizing upside, NFL teams will certainly have to do their homework on Lyerla, who comes with alarming off-field issues, most important a Dec. 27, 2013 guilty plea for possession of cocaine. Lyerla had left the Ducks program on Oct. 7, 2013, believing he did so on good terms."I love everyone at Oregon; everyone's on good terms, I believe," Lyerla said at the time. "Just for my own benefit, it was time to move on."I wish nothing but the best for coach Helfrich and the team. I love the University of Oregon and am so thankful for every opportunity that I had. I'm going to use everything I learned from this program and do my best to be successful in whatever happens in the future."Lyerla said walking away from the No. 2 team in the country was "completely my decision," and had nothing to do with missing the Colorado game, which Oregon won 57-16.
STRENGTHS: Physical marvel with excellent athleticism, good hand-eye coordination and toughness after the catch. Possesses impressive straight-line speed, as well as the agility and balance to operate in space. Attacks defenders as a run-blocker, getting an explosive initial pop on his opponent and extending his arms and keeping his legs churning to sustain. Shows the competitive spirit befitting his prep past as a linebacker. Recorded a 40-inch vertical and 10'10 broad jump during the 2010 National Underclassmen Combine as a high school senior. WEAKNESSES: Signed with Oregon after starring as a prep running back and linebacker and wasn't asked to run a variety of routes in this offense. Relies on his athleticism rather than technique as a route-runner and blocker, showing limited technique to gain clearance against press coverage and inconsistent hand placement as a blocker. Myriad of off-field issues. Abruptly quit the team on Oct. 6, calling his choice to leave the Ducks as a "personal decision." This occurred after missing the Ducks' Sept. 14 game against Tennessee for what Lyerla later called the stomach flu but head coach Mark Helfrich characterized simply as "circumstances." Arrested Oct. 23, 2013 when undercover police discovered inhaling a "white powdery substance" inside a car. Lyerla later admitted the substance was cocaine. This was hardly Lyerla's only run-in with police. He had his driver's license suspended Oct. 11, 2013 after receiving four driving tickets in the previous 24 months. It is worth noting that since his arrest and court case Lyerla, has parted ways with one sports representative and signed with another. COMPARES TO: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots - Like "Gronk," Lyerla comes with plenty of red-flags that will cause some to completely drop him from their boards. For Gronkowski, the issue was a spinal condition. Lyerla's inability to stay out of trouble could be viewed as even more troubling for NFL teams. No one doubts Lyerla's talent, however. With dedication to his craft, Lyerla is a Pro Bowl tight end. Without it, he could wind up out of the league very quickly. --Rob Rang (2/6/14)
03/26/2014 - 2014 Pro Days: De'Anthony Thomas clocked at 4.34 at Oregon workout...One player not present for Oregon's workout was former Ducks' tight end Colt Lyerla. Lyerla, who abruptly quit the team October 5 and was later arrested for possession of cocaine, told the media at the Combine that he hoped to repair relationships with his former Oregon coaches. Clearly, that has not occurred to the level that he was allowed to participate in the Ducks' workout Thursday -- an audition that reportedly saw some 30 scouts and coaches representing nearly two-thirds of the league's teams. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com