Drafted: ROUND: 1 - Pick Number: 30 (KC)
Draft Profile: BioKarlaftis is a former 4-star recruit from West Lafayette HS (IN) who was born in Athens, Greece was a high school star out in both football and track & field, he earned state titles in Indiana for the shot put (60 feet, 0.5 inches as a junior). He was widely recruited and opted to join the Boilermakers.
He was a First-team Associated Press Freshman All-American after leading Purdue with 17 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks in his freshman year in 2019.
Karlaftis didn't play for much of the 2020 season due to a number of injury issues. He suffered an undisclosed lower left leg injury against Illinois in October 2020 and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, he played only three of Purdue’s six games in 2020, but still was awarded with a second-team All-Big Ten selection
In 2021 Karlaftis took off with his biggest season - playing on 667 snaps logging 5 sacks, 14 QB hits, a huge 35 hurries, 2 forced fumbles, and also added 36 tackles. As a result, Karlaftis was recognized as one of five finalists for the Ted Hendricks Award, which is given annually to the best defensive end in college football. He was also a consensus first-team All-Big Ten honoree, earning all-conference honors for the second time. Karlaftis became the first defensive player for Purdue to be named first-team All-Big Ten since defensive tackle Kawann Short in 2012.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Elite athletic talent with a huge body and the ideal length for the position - which creates a separation and leverage mismatch at the point of attack
- Has elite speed and agility for his size with a motor to play every down as a traditional 4-3 defensive end
- He made Bruce Feldman's Freaks list - at #7. Feldman wrote: - He's up to 272 lbs, yet his body fat has dropped from 25% to 15%. He power cleans 380, broad jumps 10-1 & has a 37-inch vert, but that's just the beginning of why he's such a Freak:
- Offers versatility, rushing from a two-and three-point stance with the playing speed to stand up in space. Flashes strength as a bull rusher and his energy doesn't plateau.
- Very versatile has the size speed and size to play a number of different roles at the next level - has been successfully used as both an interior and outside rusher
- Plays with leverage at the point of attack whether inside or outside. Keeps eyes in the backfield when inside; moves linemen to either side with strong hands.
- Super powerful upper body strength able to dominate lineman and regularly forces them into the backfield
- Easily gains inside leverage by shooting gaps.
- Has an impressing pass-rushing bag of tricks with very quick and strong hands
- Great quickness and change of direction agility. Chases, using a long spin move to clear blocks. Low, strong off the line.
- Amazing athlete overall who power cleans 380, did a 505-pound front squat, a 10-1 broad jump, and a 37-inch vertical jump. His 40 this offseason was 4.69. As part of his preparation, he spends an hour a day doing hand-to-hand combat and MMA drills, an hour on rehab/mobility exercises, and a third-hour watching film
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Less impressive as a run defender and can be neutralized by running at him
- Stands up well against the run but is very pursuit-conscious and will take unneeded wide angles.
- Doesn't always wrap up the tackle and can be too confident in his athletic ability
- May be too bulked up and his great momentum makes it difficult to change direction as well as smaller edge rushers
- Never out of a play, but can get out of control and work himself away from the action.
- Sometimes plays tall and gets upright off the snap. Wins with upper-body strength and needs to focus on leverage.
Scouting Report: SummaryGeorge Karlaftis is a freakish athlete with an elite massive frame and is a natural dominating pass rusher. He has everything you look for in a traditional pass rushing 4-3 defensive end in the NFL, he, however, isn't perfect (yet) -- and can be beaten by running at him and as a result is only a decent run defender.
He is one of the best pass rushers in the 2022 NFL Draft and could very quickly become a pro-bowl level player at the next level if used in the right scheme. We expect he'll hear his name called in the top half of the first round next April.
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