So far, Packers TE Colt Lyerla doesn’t look like the next Jimmy Graham

Colt Lyerla
Packers rookie free agent TE Colt Lyerla has struggled the first two days of camp.

When the Packers signed rookie free agent Colt Lyerla, there were a lot of people claiming the troubled tight end from Oregon was a first-round talent who went undrafted because of character concerns and legal issues.

Some people even used Lyerla in the same sentence as Jimmy Graham when talking about his talent and potential production.

Through two days of Packers training camp, reports indicate that Lyerla looks nothing like a first-round talent and shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same book as Graham, let alone sentence.

I thought the hype over Lyerla was way overblown. If he truly was a first-round talent that reminded scouts and GMs of Jimmy Graham, someone would have drafted him, regardless of his attitude and legal issues.

However, we’re only two days into camp. It’s way too early to write players off (or anoint them superstars). Hopefully Lyerla gets his feet under him and starts showing the tremendous talent many people assumed he had.

But for now, let’s give the Jimmy Graham comparisons and first-round talent proclamations a rest.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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  • Since ’61

    Adam – I agree that it is way too early to know whether Lyerla will succeed or not. I think that most Packer fans, myself included, hope that he overcomes his personal issues and makes the team even if it’s only on the practice squad for this season. If he has the talent and the determination to see it through, his abilities will come out. If he doesn’t have the skills to make it, it won’t happen, just like any other player. I am proud of the Packers for giving him a chance, with low risk to the team, and I wish Lyerla well. It is just a matter of time now to see how far this young man will go. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  • Stroh

    The Graham/Gronk/Hernandez comparison’s are more from just athletic ability, not due to actual production. He’s an athletic marvel, but is undisciplined in just about every way in regards to playing TE. I would consider him most like Hernandaz among them.

    I was at the 1st training camp practice Sat and he had one really bad drop and one drop on a ball that was short and off target, but catchable. Its not the best start for him and he’s got a lot of catching up to do.

    Personally, I would have him take Taylor’s roster spot and work on all the ST, while continuing to develop his talents as a TE. He is probably at least 2 and maybe 3 yrs from being ready to contribute of Offense.

    He’s a gifted athlete but at this point not a gifted TE. If he stays out of trouble plays on ST a lot and works hard on his TE game, he could become a special player. But its going to take time and its far from a given.

  • Brooklyn81

    He hasn’t played in over a year and comes in to the NFL after missing a whole year of college. I agree the Jimmy Graham comparisons are a bit much but let’s a least give him time before we write him off. I believe by week 2 or 3 he will start doing a lot better

  • Rymetyme

    I’m sure he’s never come even close to previously doing the level of football related mental work that GB requires. I’m sure he feels mentally overwhelmed.

    I don’t think he magically “catches up” to everyone else after a week or two… those guys continue progressing, too. It will take time, probably a lot of time.

    I also don’t think there is anything wrong with being excited about him. Marques Colston nearly went undrafted so it’s not foolish to hope.

  • LyerlaStoleMyBike

    Did Jimmy Graham look like the next Jimmy Graham after two practices?

  • Turophile

    The original hype I remember is that he was rated as approximately a second round choice excluding character concerns.

    The first round stuff is posters getting a little too excited after he went to Packers camp as a tryout.

    a guy as rusty as Lyerla is bound to be , should not have too much expectation to start with.

  • Big T

    If he sucks as bad as you are leading on and has personal issues, don’t you think the Cowboys or Vikings would’ve been all over this guy. Guarantee he has some real talent otherwise the Vikings surely would’ve scooped him up.

    • SchenySchen

      Clearly I’m growing as a person. I’ve given BigT a thumbs up on two posts this week. Taking shots at the Vikings is always near and dear to my heart. Nice work T. GoPack!

  • John Galt III

    At a minimum I hope he makes the practice squad where he has a year to catch up.

    Probably a good special teams player with his speed and athleticism and could be a situational player in his first full year.

  • morgan mundane

    Here’s an analogy: I’ve seen a few good tv pilots in my days that went astray because the producers moved it around and the audience never found it and or it got lost.
    I would give this kid his due and not compare him to anyone. My concern, will he get a chance to shine or will he be limited to playing time and thus, never stand out, and be cut?
    Not having played last year kills your timing and real time hands on football skills. If they bring back Findley, this kid is a goner.

  • Tim

    Training camps across the league have one or two athletic marvels who could be the next …(insert name of phenom of your choice). Hope the young man makes it happen, but I’m not holding my breath. I think the best way to predict how he’ll do is to look at how he’s done.