Near Elite Starter
The 2022 NFL Draft will have no shortage of edge rushers. George Karlaftis is another powerful edge rusher who is a projected first-round talent. Karloftis was born in Athens, Greece, and spent a good portion of his youth in Greece before coming to the United States. He didn't play organized football until middle school and would eventually become a track and field star, where he won a state title in the shot put at West Lafayette High School as a sophomore.
Karlaftis boasts a high motor, with an explosive get-off allowing him to get on top of his blockers in pass sets. He has a wide array of pass rush moves involving his hands, and he uses his leverage to win one-on-one battles with a good combo of power and speed. He can win with a bull rush or use a spin move to gain leverage.
Not a particularly flexible athlete, Karlaftis is a technician who can use various pass rush moves and power to win. He can shoot a gap and squeeze through unlikely creases or bull rush a blocker into the pocket before spinning off and making a play on the QB. His hand power is one of his key strengths. He has a powerful punch that allows him to gain leverage against his blocker.
Karlaftis plays with good awareness; he has a solid pre snap pass rush plan and can improvise on the fly using an array of hand moves. He can sometimes rely too much on his power allowing his blockers to gain leverage before he decides to counter. As a run defender, Karlaftis is solid but needs to improve. His play recognition and lateral quickness are an area he needs to improve to be a more effective run defender.
Karlaftis is an every-down player that can be effective in the NFL standing up or with his hand in the dirt. He does lack the size to be an effective interior defender in the NFL. He can flourish in a gap control scheme that uses multiple fronts.
PLAYSTYLE & SCHEME FIT