In response to PhatttVirgin's comment:
"INDIANAPOLIS – There was a time when you could bank on the Patriots taking a few risks during their annual quest to find value.
The approach worked wonderfully for a number of years. It led New England to wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (felony assault), quarterback Ryan Mallett (drugs), and tight end Rob Gronkowski (injuries). But those days of rolling the dice, at least on players with character concerns, could have come to an end last year when Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder.
If the team will, in fact, run from all shades of red flags in the future, it would be an understandable development. Welcomed, even, considering how hard the last flag slapped the Patriots and everyone else around Hernandez in the face. But that could mean missing out on other talented players who have made missteps in the past.
This year's troubled kid on the path to redemption is former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla. Without knowing anything about his past or history, a glance at his game film makes him appear a perfect fit for New England's system. He drags multiple defenders down the field with his 6-foot-4 frame, creating visions of Gronkowski, and takes a handoff out of the backfield and dances his way around the edge like Hernandez once did. On another play, Lyerla has no issue locking up a defensive end at the point of attack.
His talent is real.
"I watched film, what little tape I could get on him from 2012," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. "He's a gifted, gifted kid."
Lyerla looks like the perfect fit for a team that is in need of playmakers at tight end – until you start to read about him. That's when you realize why Lyerla's name is not found on many of the mock drafts or prospect rankings that have recently flooded the Internet.
He was dismissed from the Oregon football team in October for an unspecified issue, and things became worse when Lyerla was arrested weeks later after police witnessed him snorting cocaine in a parking lot. At that moment, the character-issue threshold many NFL teams set was obliterated.
Lyerla spent a night in prison as a result or the arrest and then spent some time working on a road crew. Lyerla will now spend the next two years on probation, but he says he doesn't need that time to get his life right. Hearing the sound of a prison door clinking behind him was enough to make him realize it was time to get his life in order.
"That was huge for me," Lyerla said. "Like I said, it gave me time to self-reflect and realize that's a place I never want to be again."
Lyerla won't go into specifics about what led to his dismissal from Oregon (a source claims the issue began over a dispute over missed time which led to a rift between Lyerla and the coaching staff) or the depths to which he drug use went. Instead, he chalks up some of his issues to general immaturity and negative influences.
To fix that issue, he moved away from his hometown to separate himself from the people, places and things he felt dragged him down. So far, he's managed to stay out of trouble, though it has only been for a few weeks. But he doesn't think that will be an issue moving forward.
Lylerla, who is subject to random drug tests as part of his probation, believes that everything is now going well in his life and is thankful to have faced adversity.
"Getting in trouble probably is the best thing that's happened to me," Lyerla said. "It really put me at a point in place and gave me time to self reflect and just really helped me realize exactly what I want out of life and I need to do to get it."
It's almost certain, however, that Lyerla will not get everything out of life that once appeared guaranteed to him. Before he was dismissed from Oregon, Lyerla was considered to be a first-round talent. Now some believe he could fall to the final rounds of the draft.
One scout who spoke to NFL.com after Lyerla left Oregon went so far as to call him a "bad dude."
"He really struggles when he gets away from a structured environment," the scout said. "In fact, the coaching staff constantly worried about his whereabouts and dealings whenever he was away from campus on extended breaks. Now, I would worry about bringing him into my building, but he is definitely a big-time talent with the potential to become a special player as a pro, if it comes together."
Lyerla understands the doubts. He created them. But he says that he's willing to put in the work, on and off the field, to prove himself.
"I put myself in a position where my back's against the wall, to the point that if I don't do everything perfect and the right way, I won't be able to play football, let alone be successful in any shape or form," he said.
If Lyerla has, in fact, put his demons to bed, whatever team rolls the dice on him could end up with all of that big-time talent and without the headache that is supposed to accompany it."
Thought the first part was funny cuz it read like a Patriot rap sheet...lol
id do it in a heartbeat. with all of the wasted picks over the past few years why not take a chance on him in the fourth round if hes still out there. the patriots drafted tavon wilson jermaine cunningham and ras dowling with second round picks. none of those guys were even talented college players so why not draft someone who can play in the nfl.