Undrafted free agents are signed and soon cut as a matter of routine in the NFL, but if the scouting community's assessment of Green Bay Packers rookie Colt Lyerla is on target, the former Oregon tight end's eventual flame-out is more a matter of time.
A sampling of scouting comments on Lyerla collected by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel prior to the NFL draft:
»"Wouldn't touch him. He's off our board."
»"He's the wild card in this whole thing. Extremely talented kid. Quit the team this year. Has had multiple off-the-field issues. Just a real nightmare in that regard. Is he going to be the Aaron Hernandez kind of player, a first-round talent that somebody gets in the fourth round? Colt quit. Aaron played. It's hard to justify all the quitting."
»"I wouldn't sign him. I wouldn't do that to my owner."
»"Kid's a mess. He is probably one of the worst kids in this draft. He screwed up everything. Drugs. Quitting. You name it, it's happened. I would never trust him. I couldn't imagine anybody taking him with those credentials. No way."
The Packers signed Lyerla on Monday, and coach Mike McCarthy had already addressed the off-field issues that relegated Lyerla, one of the top rookie talents at his position, to being bypassed in the NFL draft. Lyerla was dimissed from the program midway through last season, and compounded his problems with a cocaine possession charge weeks later. However, if Lyerla manages to make the team and steers clear of trouble, he would give the Packers' offense a versatile athlete who could operate as an H-back/slot tight end and help on special teams.
Those are big questions, however, and those that doubt whether Lyerla can last in Green Bay are clearly not hard to find.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.