4 young heroes who can carry the Kansas City Chiefs all the way (again)

Rashee Rice leads a group of young players on both sides of the ball capable of carrying the Chiefs to a repeat championship.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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George Karlaftis, DL

When Brett Veach first turned in a draft card with George Karlaftis's name on it, it was largely seen as a move to grab a solid defensive end with a high floor to help reset the defensive line.

So far, Karlaftis has been exactly what the Chiefs wanted—and then some. Not only did Karlaftis handle starting reps as a rookie last season (at the age of 21, by the way), but he came on quite strong in the second half of 2022 to finish with 6 sacks‚ nearly all of them coming in the latter half.

This season, Karlaftis, who was a power rushing sensation at Purdue from the moment he first arrived on campus as a teenager, has taken his game to new heights. Karlaftis is not only much better at diagnosing and defending the run but he's elevated his pass-rush technique to give him new totals here as well.

So far in 2023, Karlaftis has incredible his career sack total from 6 a year ago to 10.5 during the regular season this year while his QB pressures leaped from 21 to 35. On Saturday, Karlaftis was regularly seen in the face of Tua Tagovailoa and he picked up another 1.5 sacks in the Wild Card round on the Dolphins quarterback.

With the futures of Mike Danna and Chris Jones in doubt for '24, it certainly helps to see Karlaftis proving he's capable of more.