DE George Karlaftis, Purdue*

6’4” – 275 lbs.

Background:

Given name is Yorgos. Moved to the US from Greece when he was thirteen. Has been starting since arriving at Purdue; posted a massive 54-17.0-7.5 line as a freshman, then was limited to just three games the following year after contracting Covid-19. Came back to post 41-11.5-5.0 as a junior as of the time of writing.

Positives:

Produced at a high level as a freshman, and play as a junior was much better than statistics indicate, having generated a lot of pressure and drawn extra attention from opposing offenses. Has prototypical size for a 4-3 base end or strongside elephant ‘backer in a 3-4, and played both in college. Plays with a high level of intensity. Gets off the line quickly and shows excellent first-step explosiveness. Has very impressive functional strength; gets low, keeps his legs driving, and can really collapse the pocket. Shows plenty of suddenness at the line to threaten with his inside move. A homing missile on stunts. Hand usage is very good overall. Mixes up his rushes often, working in slaps, chops, and swipes to get to the passer. Bends a smooth arc back to the passer on his outside rushes, without needing to gear down too much. Breaks down well in space. Keeps his shoulders square and digs in at the line of scrimmage when playing the run; would fit really well in a two-gap defense. Maintains outside leverage to funnel runners back to help. Plays with patience and discipline on the backside. Shows heavy hands to discard blockers and make tackles. Thudding hitter who can help set the tone.

Negatives:

Didn’t play much as a sophomore and sack production fell off this past season. Some minor issues with balance crop up from time to time. Occasionally scrapes too far inside in the run game. Wasn’t asked to work in coverage during the games reviewed; much more of a downhill skill set. Would have liked to see him kick inside and rush more. Probably not quite fast enough to chase down ballcarriers from the backside.

Summary:

A very powerful defensive end with a sophisticated approach to rushing the passer and the discipline and anchor to set the edge as a two-gap defender in the run game. Looks like he should be able to step right in on the strong side of a defensive front, something which could have him off the board within the top ten picks come draft day.

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