The relationship between the Oregon Ducks and former tight end Colt Lyerla was a rocky one that ended earlier this season when Lyerla chose to leave the program for “personal reason” following a one-game suspension for violation of team rules. He was expected to spend his time training and preparing for next spring’s NFL draft, as many scouts have raved about his skill set ahead of the draft process. But instead, Lyerla has found himself in trouble once again, this time with police.
According to the Lane County (Ore.) Jail, Lyerla was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of unlawful possession of cocaine (as if there were any other kind) and interfering with a police officer. According to reports, detectives working on another drug investigation spotted Lyerla in a parked car snorting “what appeared to be a white powdery substance.” When police confronted him, he admitted to using and possessing cocaine.
The Sheriff’s report then said that Lyerla agreed to meet the detectives at his home to continue the investigation. But once they got to Lyerla’s residence, he ran from the vehicle into a nearby apartment. Police waited and Lyerla came out of the apartment shortly after and was arrested. Not exactly the work of a savvy criminal mastermind.
While Lyerla waits to see what legal ramifications come from this arrest, the more immediate concern for his career is how this will affect his draft stock. Many scouts believed teams would look past the behavioral red flags from his time at Oregon because of the skill set he brought as one of the most athletically versatile prospects available. But a drug arrest could make things more difficult for him as some teams will avoid the potential fallout from another scrape with the law in the future.
Lyerla needs to do some serious work on his image, starting with getting clean and sober, to show NFL teams that he is worth the risk. After a collegiate career of headaches and a cocaine possession charge after leaving his team midseason, however, the risk might be too great.