Rapid Reaction: KC Chiefs draft DE George Karlaftis

Purdue's George Karlaftis is a projected top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL draft.Syndication Journal Courier
Purdue's George Karlaftis is a projected top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL draft.Syndication Journal Courier /

The Kansas City Chiefs made their second pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, selecting Purdue defensive end Geroge Karlaftis.

The Kansas City Chiefs kept the focus on the defense with their second pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, selecting Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis at 30th overall. Karlaftis was a polarizing player in the pre-draft process, especially after a questionable Combine performance in Indianapolis. However, the value is undeniable for the Chiefs at a glaring position of need.

How should Chiefs fans feel about Kansas City’s newest player?

Short-term gain

Similar to Kansas City drafting cornerback Trent McDuffie, George Karlaftis is an immediate impact player. He will likely start the first game opposite Frank Clark and will provide more juice on the edge as a pass rusher

Also, the defense got significantly younger with Karlaftis. He and McDuffie are both 21 years old, which resets the clock for this defense. Joining young linebackers Nick Bolton and Willie Gay, this green defense will be fun to watch as they develop and grow together into a cohesive unit.

Karlaftis may not add much to the team’s run defense, but Kansas City desperately needed another pass rusher and that is what Karlaftis does well. At worst, he is a dangerous situational player. At best, he reaches his every-down, play-wrecking ceiling.

Long-term fit

Karlaftis’ physical attributes and play style fit right into Kansas City. As long as defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo leads the unit, Karlaftis will provide what he needs. Karlaftis is a relentless pass-rusher, despite being double- and triple-teamed at the college level.

Karlaftis also provides Kansas City with a financially palatable pass-rusher. Clark’s contract bogged down the Chiefs for years, and Karlaftis’ will not. Even if he does not develop into this draft class’s top rusher, he will be a solid option on a relatively cheap contract.

What scouts say

Scouts are quick to praise Karlaftis’ game film, as his motor and first step are easily noticeable. But, his shortfalls in setting the edge or shedding blockers in the run game are also glaring. But, his physical traits provide a good foundation for growing his game.

Bleacher Report’s Derrik Klassen compared Karlaftis to Ryan Kerrigan, which is both a good and underwhelming comparison.

Players passed over

  • CB Daxton Hill
  • S Lewis Cine
  • OLB David Ojabo
  • WR George Pickens
  • DE Boye Mafe

Pick grade

Karlaftis is not for everyone. He needs to grow and refine his game, and he can take multiple seasons to realize his potential. While Karlaftis will likely start immediately, this pick deserves a B. It is not a bad selection, considering selecting a starter at 30th overall. But, fans will have to be patient with Karlaftis.

Next. Five futures players to watch for the Chiefs. dark