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NFL Draft results: Chiefs select Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis at No. 30

With their second pick in 2022, the Chiefs address their need along the edge.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 Illinois at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs selected Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis at pick No. 30 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.

6 feet 4 | 266 lbs. | Purdue

Athens, Greece

Background: As a child in Greece, Karlaftis was a multi-sport athlete — including playing on the national water polo team. When he was 13 years old, his father unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack; that led to his mother moving the family back to her home in West Lafeyette, Indiana — where he began playing football and eventually signed with Purdue as a four-star recruit.

He played 12 games as a true freshman, racking up an insane stat line: 54 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and two passes defended. That’s when his name started heating up as a high-profile draft pick. For the next two seasons, he had 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks combined.

In 2021, Karlaftis played nearly 94% of his snaps in an alignment outside the tackle. He earned a pressure on 16% of his pass-rush snaps.

Strengths: Karlaftis has NFL size and mass. He moves really well for the wide, bulky body type he has; he can fly off the snap and put pressure on offensive tackles to get back in their pass set — but has the raw power to really blow them up if they get off balance. His hands are like bricks, very powerful and effective when swiping down and using them in block deconstruction. He is a high-energy, high-effort player that always seems to end on a path towards the quarterback. His natural skills are impressive, and it feels like they can be built onto still. All indications are that he’s a very hard worker.

Weaknesses: Karlaftis does not have ideal arm length, coming in with 17th-percentile arm size and 29th-percentile wingspan. That can hurt him when he’s pass rushing one-on-one against an offensive tackle, who can out-length him and win to his chest. He also isn’t a bendy rusher, mostly winning with his strength and power. He has a high pressure rate, but the low sack number indicates he may not finish his pressures as much as you’d like. Even at his size, there are times he doesn’t use leverage well and can be overpowered more than you’d like to see.

How he fits with the Chiefs: Karlaftis will come in right away and start opposite Frank Clark at defensive end. His strengths make him a competent player that can eat snaps — especially on early downs. He can contribute to the pass-rush unit, but more as someone that takes advantage of the weakest link in pass protection rather than be the key rusher. He has the ability to rush from the inside, allowing the Chiefs to be creative with their third-down rush packages.

Chiefs Draft Picks (10)

  • First round (21st): Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie
  • First round (30th): Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis
  • Second round (54th — from Patriots): Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore
  • Second round (62nd): Cincinnati safety Bryan Cook
  • Third round (103rd — special comp pick): Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal
  • Fourth round (135th): Fayetteville State cornerback Joshua Williams
  • Fifth round (145th): Kentucky tackle Darian Kinnard
  • Seventh round (243rd): Washington State cornerback Jaylen Watson
  • Seventh round (251st): Rutgers running back Isaih Pacheco
  • Seventh round (259th): Marshall safety Nazeeh Johnson

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