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Chiefs Draft George Karlaftis: Initial Reactions

After bolstering their defense by drafting Trent McDuffie with the 21st pick, the Chiefs have gone the same route with the 30th pick. They’ve drafted George Karlaftis from Purdue. He has had 97 total tackles, 29 tackles for a loss, 14 sacks, three forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries in his three-year college career.

Here are my initial reactions to this draft pick:

George Karlaftis = Highly Probable Day One Starter

One element of play that scouts have thrived about on George Karlaftis is his motor. He is relentless play after play, showing that he can be an absolute mauler within the trenches. He also has displayed good hand power, being able to stun and overwhelm blockers with it per The Draft Network. Karlaftis has also displayed other good abilities, from his first-step explosiveness to his versatile amount of hand counters.

When looking at all the other edge players on the Chiefs’ roster, it’s evident that Karlaftis would be a Day One player as long as camp goes smoothly for him. He still has a decent amount to work on, but Karlaftis can provide good value for this Chiefs’ defense.

Has A Decent Amount To Develop, But Still Not A Bad Pick

One of the cons that has shown on film that he has to develop is Karlaftis’s lack of quickness. Here is an example below:

You can't expect wins on every rep, but eventually you do start to wonder what NFL blockers are going to do to a guy like Karlaftis with his notable lack of quickness and explosion… effort can only take him so far. — Matt Stagner (@stagdsp) April 26, 2022

If Karlaftis cannot go over the quickness hump, he is going to have trouble against NFL offensive linemen. A prime example of a “what-if” is with Frank Clark last season, where due to a lack of quickness to get off of blocks, Clark wasn’t able to create that much pressure.

Another con he must improve upon is his run defense, as at Purdue, he was shown to not provide much of an impact, being sealed off from the play. Furthermore, Karlaftis has shown to be inconsistent overall with his play, having one of the best weeks ever one week and then having a terrible one where he doesn’t produce as much the next. These cons can be worked upon as he’s with the Chiefs.

George Karlaftis is still a good-value pick that the Chiefs snagged despite all of this. Karlaftis has shown to be one of the best pass rushers in this draft, ranking seventh amongst defenders in pass-rush win rate (23.6%) and second amongst other edge players (only behind Aidan Hutchinson). If they develop him right, he can be one of the best defenders the Chiefs have next season.

What are your thoughts on the Chiefs drafting George Karlaftis? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.

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