George Karlaftis: Scouting Report. Everything You Need To Know.

George Karlaftis: Scouting Report. Everything You Need To Know.
Reading Time: 4 minutes.

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JAHLEEL BILLINGSLEYAHMAD GARDNERKENYON GREEN
BREECE HALLGARRETT WILSONCARSON STRONG
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 275 Lbs
  • College: Purdue
  • Year: Junior
  • Position: Defensive End

BACKGROUND

George Karlaftis is one of the most talented players available in the 2022 NFL Draft class, which is full of talent on the defensive side of the ball. While no one may challenge Kayvon Thibodeaux as the top pass rusher, Karlaftis will be a guy highly converted come April 2022. 

Yoros “George” Karlaftis has had quite the journey to this point in his career. A native of Greece, he left his hometown of Athens to move to Indiana when he was just 13. He attended West Lafayette High School, where he took on ‘George’ as his English name. According to MaxPreps, Karlaftis finished his senior year of high school with 106 tackles and 17.5 sacks. 

He was ticketed as a 4 star recruit by the major recruitment networks and committed to Purdue, where he has family ties, in the spring of 2019. In the 2019 season, Karlaftis started all 12 games for the Boilermakers, where he tied the team lead with 7.5 sacks. Then, in 2020, he was awarded the Academic All-Big Ten and a Second-Team All-Big Ten.

2020 would only be a 6 game season for the Boilermakers due to the global pandemic. Karlaftis only played in 3, missing time due to both Covid-19 and suffering a serious ankle injury.

George Karlaftis has bounced back in 2021. Showing everyone why he is being spoken about as one of the best pass rushers in college football. 

Karlaftis is a defensive end who combines size, strength, power and burst to be successful in the NFL.

Watch #5 in the video below which shows Karlaftis’s high energy motor and outstanding power. 

STRENGTHS

  • Brilliant Motor
  • Size
  • Strength

More of a traditional defensive end than a pure edge rusher, George Karlaftis is a big bodied player who plays with an exceptional motor. His effort is nothing short of herculean. Karlaftis’s motor along with his nastiness and spartan rage as a finisher, make him a feared defender.

Where Karlaftis really wins though, is with his size and his strength. At 6’4” and 275 pounds. He is a mammoth of a man. His unique size means he could slot inside on certain schemes and his arm length means he can create great leverage and separation. 

As an athlete, Karlaftis is a figurative olympian, who has exceptional burst and explosiveness. Karlaftis also has the speed to close down in short areas. His colossal size means he is a gap filler and while possessing great hand placement and technique to forage for production as a pass rusher, he can also take up position as a successful run stuffer. 

Pair that size with his power and you have a deadly combination. His power generates a really strong initial burst. Along with his motor, he can travel laterally quickly. Karlaftis never gives up on a play and he will chase down defenders with 100% effort. 

Karlaftis is super physical and his play strength is overpowering. His strength means he can more than match up with bigger offensive lineman and he is able to force them back; causing havoc for not only his opponent, but also opposing quarterbacks. Karlaftis has good awareness and instincts and will be an impact player in the NFL.

WEAKNESSES

  • High End Athleticism
  • Pass Rush Plan
  • More Assured Tackler

On tape there are a couple of things that stand out that Karlaftis could improve on. 

Firstly, while he is an absolute barbarian of a man, he does lack the high end athleticism of a pure outside track pass rusher. He lacks some wiggle, bend and flexibility, especially in his hips and lower body. 

It means Karlaftis can struggle to turn the corner when rushing off the edge. His size is both a strength and a weakness, as it restricts his flexibility and agility that some leaner edge rushers will have. The development in 2021 of a pass rushing plan and putting that plan into action will be key for Karlaftis’s draft stock. 

Karlaftis thrives as a power rusher, not as a speed rusher. As more of an established defensive end, that is fine, if he is used in the right way. Some quicker and nimbler quarterbacks may be able to work their way out of a certain sack if they can get out of the pocket. 

That improvement to his tackling is the second thing that stood out on tape. When defending the run, his technique isn’t always on point. He can whiff on some plays where he should be stronger and more assured in the tackle. 

Now that doesn’t happen on all plays. But, when it does happen, Karlaftis simply won’t get away with it at the next level. He has all the traits to chase down and close in on attackers, a bit more confidence and composure in some tackling situations will go a long way to being a top pick. 

SUMMARY

Karlaftis has shown why he should be a top pick come the 2022 NFL Draft. 

While he, nor others, are likely to compete with Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux to be the elite pass rusher in the class, Karlaftis has made an intriguing case to be right behind him. 

Karlaftis’s special and distinctive size when coupled with his brawn, strength and muscle, creates a remarkable combination of abilities that will be highly sort after by a lot of NFL teams. 

While Karlaftis does have some areas to shore up, like his tackling and bend, he can be confident of being picked highly in the 2022 NFL Draft.

How good of a prospect is George Karlaftis? Let us know over on Twitter @NinetynineYards and @Owain_Jones_ 

Image Credit: Purdue University Athletics

Video Credit; Thanks to Prospects & ESPN College Football on YouTube.

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