Former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla worked out for the Green Bay Packers over the weekend and might have made a strong enough impression to receive a contract offer.
Lyerla, who quit the Ducks program last fall, fell into legal trouble, went unselected and then unsigned during the NFL Draft process, was invited to Green Bay's rookie camp, which concluded Saturday.
Packers general manager Ted Thompson told reporters that the team had done a lot of research on Lyerla. In fact, Green Bay was one of three NFL teams that attended Lyerla's Pro Day workout at Portland State in March.
“We did a lot of work on Colt,” Thompson said. “He’s very talented. We interviewed him at the combine. He’s made some mistakes. We felt he was worth bringing in and taking a look at.”
Thompson said the Packers would take a couple of days to sort out all of the details surrounding Lyerla before deciding whether or not to sign him to a contract.
“You weigh it all," Thompson said. "Every case is an individual case. I’ve always believed there are certain things people can atone for, acknowledge their mistakes and get on with their lives. That’s where we are with Colt."
The 6-foot-3, 242-pound Lyerla could be a steal as a player for the Packers if he is able to put his past behind him.
He was one of the most athletic tight ends at the NFL Scouting Combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds and registering the highest vertical jump of 39 inches for any tight end. He, however, did not perform well in the bench press with just 15 reps of 225 pounds.
The fact that Lyerla went undrafted was a clear sign that the league's 32 teams did not trust his character enough to invest a draft pick in him or to be on the hook for signing him to a contract right away.
Things looked bleak for Lyerla when not one team offered him a free agent contract following the draft when more than 400 undrafted players received such opportunities.