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Grading the Chiefs’ pick of Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis at 30

What do we think of Kansas City’s second pick of the 2022 NFL Draft?

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

The Kansas City Chiefs have made their second selection!

With the 30th overall pick in the first round, the Chiefs took Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis. We have insta-grades from the three members of the Arrowhead Pride Draft Team.

Ron: With a similar justification as the McDuffie pick, the Chiefs grabbed a defensive starter — and that makes this a pretty good pick. Karlaftis will be a starter in Week 1, playing defensive end opposite Frank Clark. He will give you quality snaps right away; he’ll be a pain in the butt for offensive linemen in both the running and passing game.

Yet as a pure edge rusher, it’s hard to know how high of a ceiling Karlaftis has. He doesn’t have the natural abilities some of the other possibilities at 30 had, which I would have valued over Karlaftis’ strengths. There are players available on Day 2 who can give you quality snaps similar to those of Karlaftis, but not many who have the pass-rushing skills that someone like Penn State’s Arnold Ebiketie can.

All in all, Karlaftis — just like McDuffie — raises the floor of the defense. But in terms of flash plays and a ceiling, he just may not be as exciting as McDuffie.

Grade: B-

Bryan: Karlaftis will assume the role of a starter almost assuredly on Day 1 of the 2022 season. He should be solid against the run, but the pass-rushing component is more difficult to project. He plays with a ton of effort, is strong, and was highly successful at creating pressure in college.

Generally speaking, he feels like a high floor/low ceiling type of player. But at 21 years of age — with room to refine his game — that might be selling him short. If the Chiefs can bring Melvin Ingram back, the defensive line will officially look better on paper than it did in 2021.

Overall, Karlaftis joins Trent McDuffie, Nick Bolton, L’Jarius Sneed and Willie Gay as very young, physical defenders in Kansas City.

Grade: B

Talon: Meh, it is what it is. George Karlaftis is a raw football player, but one with an off-the-charts work ethic. He isn’t the flashiest pick, but he isn’t bringing any surprises with him: the Chiefs know exactly what they are getting with the former Purdue Boilermaker. He utilizes his hands well but he doesn’t have that burst around the perimeter that some possess.

One thing for sure about Karlaftis is that he will not quit until there is zero time left to play. He is an effort player who will win late in games due to his relentless aggression. I don’t think he will ever be the best pass rusher on the team but he will be a reliable edge setter for a long time. Doesn’t necessarily give the team any more spark, but he will help the Chiefs win games.

Grade: B


What’s your grade of the Chiefs’ No. 30 overall pick, George Karlaftis?

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