Teams looking to put a jolt into their pass rush via the 2022 NFL Draft have probably done their homework on George Karlaftis. The Purdue wrecking ball relied on his power and explosiveness to earn All-Big Ten recognition each of his last three seasons. He may not be an edge burner but plenty of people like must like what he offers since he's being projected by some as a late first-round pick.
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George Karlaftis Draft Profile
A rocked-up edge rusher, Karlaftis is an explosive athlete who wins with power and physicality. He has outstanding get-off and uses his powerful leg drive and violent hands to bully his way through blockers. His initial quickness allows him to shoot gaps as well, with the contact balance to make it to the backfield. He’s not just brute force, changing up his tempo to keep blockers off balance. He effectively sets the edge in the run game, manhandling tight ends at the point of attack, and he shows very good foot speed in pursuit, with the ability to battle his way through traffic. He plays with an aggressive temperament and non-stop motor, always around the ball and cleaning up.
His game at Purdue was predicated on overpowering college players, but Karlaftis doesn’t do much in the way of creating space. He’s much more of a face-up rusher than a guy who will threaten the edge.
Functional strength is an issue for a lot of young players entering the NFL; it won’t be an issue for Karlaftis, who thrives on violence, power and motor. He’s versatile enough to move across the defensive line and brings Pro Bowl potential.
Final Grade: 1st Round