Jeff Risdon of the website detroitlionsdraft.com has a powerful, revealing look at the Colt Lyerla situation and how it deteriorated.
It’s frank, thorough and brilliantly researched. Risdon is careful to separate what he learned and what he suspects (USA Today photo).
The report makes clear that Oregon coaches did everything they could to teach and develop Lyerla, and how things reached a point where the best option was to invite him to leave. Lyerla became a distraction. Control and discipline issues reached a point where he was a liability. He wasn’t training properly, and grew angry and frustrated about his role with the team.
It also outlines what Colt has to do to get an opportunity to succeed as a pro, the questions he’ll have to answer to earn a draft pick, and how scouts, coaches and front offices might approach the classic problem of a gifted athlete with a troubled past.
Two excerpts from the story, highly recommended reading. On Lyerla’s talent:
Even in his star-crossed career, this seems surprising. Lyerla is an incredibly gifted athlete, but has never quite achieved the level of success envisioned. His Ducks career ends with just 34 career receptions and 12 career starts. This production is not nearly indicative of Lyerla’s considerable athleticism and ability as a football player.
As a NFL prospect, there isn’t a lot that Lyerla doesn’t offer between the sidelines. I watched several Ducks games from 2012 and came away entranced with his speed, versatility, and playmaking ability. Lyerla is exactly the kind of player NFL teams are looking for going forward. He is big, strong, and fast. His hands are above average, as is his catch radius. Lyerla’s blocking showed good technique and real power, something not always present in pass catchers.
On Lyerla’s reputation and issues:
When they dig into Lyerla, they’re not likely to be very happy with what they find. I did some digging of my own, and what I learned about Lyerla makes me very skeptical about his NFL potential.
Through emails, texts, and a couple of phone conversations with various Oregon insiders, NFL scouts, Oregon teammates of Lyerla’s, and reporters who covered him in his high school days, I learned that Colt Lyerla is a deeply troubled person with a litany of issues that need resolution before he is ready to handle being a NFL player.