George Karlaftis

Don Wassall

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Looking forward to an outstanding NFL career from Big George:

KC Chiefs rookie George Karlaftis looks the part as ‘real football’ begins in camp

by Herbie Teope

Kansas City Chiefs rookie defensive end George Karlaftis could hardly contain the excitement describing what the past two days of padded practices were like for him. As a regarded full-motor player, his reaction to putting on the pads for the first time of training camp doesn’t come as a surprise. “First day of pads, you get all that excitement, you’re amped up, you’re playing real football,” Karlaftis said. “But, then you also get really fatigued because you’re really not used to it.

“Now, you’re used to it and you’re going. Now, we’re playing real football.” The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Karlaftis has looked the part as a real football player, especially during full padded one-on-one drills against the offensive linemen.

He’s done it with a combination of speed and power, but mostly the last part. On Monday, he used a power rush on two separate repetitions against offensive tackles Evin Ksiezarczyk and Roderick Johnson, overmatching the two blockers with pure strength to get in the backfield. During Tuesday’s one-on-one drills, he used another strong pass rush against rookie tackle Darian Kinnard, who was pushed back into the backfield.

It’s been impressive to watch what the Chiefs’ first-round pick can do on any given pass rush, but don’t try to categorize Karlaftis’ signature move. “I wouldn’t describe it as bull rushing,” he said. “For me, I’m a power rusher. You see guys around the league — you see the speed guys, you see the power guys. You see speed guys, like a Von Miller. “But if you really look at the game, study the game, you see that over half the guys with sacks comes from power. From that alone, you hear Von Miller — he has 100-something sacks — over 60 of them, over 70 of them are from power, so why wouldn’t you just hone in on that? That’s all I’ve been working on.”

The Chiefs will put Karlaftis, who finished his college career at Purdue with 97 tackles and 14 sacks, to good use on the edge as part of a revamped defense. And the rookie is in good hands, learning from veterans Frank Clark and Chris Jones. “For a guy like George, a Big Ten guy, I’m a Michigan guy, so we got that Big Ten bond,” Clark said. “I just want to see him be successful. When he lines up on the other side of me, inside, wherever he lines up, I just want to see him be successful at the end of the day.”

Clark is more than just words, too, because after Karlaftis’ one-on-one repetitions, Clark was the first one to greet the rookie with a celebratory hug for a job well done. The attention and mentorship from the veterans are appreciated. “Frank helps me out after every practice, then Chris helps me out in his own way,” Karlaftis said. “Everyone really helps me out in their own way because we’re trying to have the strongest group possible.” The Chiefs have a little more than two weeks to go before the end of training camp, and there are three preseason games in August for Karlaftis to help solidify the defensive front. So far, so good before the games count for real. “I’m here to just get better every single day in order to help this team win,” Karlaftis said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

https://www.kansascity.com/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs/article264063826.html#storylink=cpy
 

Red Raider

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Karlaftis is one of those guys that will start every NFL game he ever plays in, I can’t wait to see how his rookie season turns out.
 

Don Wassall

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High praise for Karlaftis:

NFL Executive Compares Chiefs Rookie to 3-Time Defender of the Year

Rather than thrust him into the starting role in Week 1, the Kansas City Chiefs decided to take some pressure off first-round pass rusher George Karlaftis when they signed veteran Carlos Dunlap on a one-year deal.

It was probably the wise decision long-term, considering Karlaftis’ draft billing as a raw talent that might need some time to develop. He only played two full seasons at Purdue, but the potential was evident to NFL suitors — 14 sacks and 29 tackles for a loss in just 26 games. Fine-tune that natural ability into a football player and you might hit the jackpot. One NFL executive even compared Karlaftis’ ceiling to a legendary five-time All-Pro and three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

‘Shades of a Young J.J. Watt’
Padded practices have finally allowed fans and media members to get a good look at Karlaftis, and he has not disappointed. The Purdue product is a power rusher at heart and a video of him driving 6-foot-6 OT Roderick Johnson into a full-on backpedal at camp sparked a thought from Heavy’s NFL insider Matt Lombardo.

“The Chiefs really got a winner in George Karlaftis, and outstanding value,” voiced Lombardo. “Ahead of the NFL Draft, an exec told me he saw shades of a young J.J. Watt in the Purdue product …”

Lombardo also noted the similarities to Watt on draft night, tweeting: “What are the Chiefs getting in George Karlaftis? Had an NFC Personnel executive tell me ‘He reminds me of J.J. Watt, when Watt was coming out. An explosive and versatile playmaker who has a high motor and can line up at 3, 5, or 7. Very strong kid.'”

Karlaftis’ Work Ethic Fits the Mold
It will be challenging to live up to a comparison like Watt, who is a likely first-ballot Hall of Fame pass rusher and defensive end. Having said that, the youngster’s work ethic does fit the description.

Watt was always known to be a hard worker and Karlaftis appears to live by a similar credo. He and Frank Clark have become quite the pair, spending tons of time together staying late after practice. KC Sports Network has been sharing videos of the two going through drills and fundamentals with one another.

It seems that the youngster is trying to add some new moves to his pass-rushing arsenal, eager to learn in any and every way possible. That’s promising, considering Karlaftis’ greatest concerns are very fixable. Things like technique, footwork, positioning, and hand placement. He already has the physical attributes and the high motor, as well as the desire.

Plus, with Dunlap joining the fold, that’s just another experienced brain for Karlaftis to pick. The 21-year-old is a sponge right now and the more established veterans around him the better. That includes defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who is no doubt excited to mold another young disruptor in the making.

If all goes well, Karlaftis will be feasting on quarterbacks next to Chris Jones and his two fellow edge rushers in no time. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll even show shades of a player like Watt.

https://heavy.com/sports/kansas-city-chiefs/george-karlaftis-jj-watt-nfl-comparison/
 

Freethinker

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High praise for Karlaftis:

NFL Executive Compares Chiefs Rookie to 3-Time Defender of the Year

Rather than thrust him into the starting role in Week 1, the Kansas City Chiefs decided to take some pressure off first-round pass rusher George Karlaftis when they signed veteran Carlos Dunlap on a one-year deal.

It was probably the wise decision long-term, considering Karlaftis’ draft billing as a raw talent that might need some time to develop. He only played two full seasons at Purdue, but the potential was evident to NFL suitors — 14 sacks and 29 tackles for a loss in just 26 games. Fine-tune that natural ability into a football player and you might hit the jackpot. One NFL executive even compared Karlaftis’ ceiling to a legendary five-time All-Pro and three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

‘Shades of a Young J.J. Watt’
Padded practices have finally allowed fans and media members to get a good look at Karlaftis, and he has not disappointed. The Purdue product is a power rusher at heart and a video of him driving 6-foot-6 OT Roderick Johnson into a full-on backpedal at camp sparked a thought from Heavy’s NFL insider Matt Lombardo.

“The Chiefs really got a winner in George Karlaftis, and outstanding value,” voiced Lombardo. “Ahead of the NFL Draft, an exec told me he saw shades of a young J.J. Watt in the Purdue product …”

Lombardo also noted the similarities to Watt on draft night, tweeting: “What are the Chiefs getting in George Karlaftis? Had an NFC Personnel executive tell me ‘He reminds me of J.J. Watt, when Watt was coming out. An explosive and versatile playmaker who has a high motor and can line up at 3, 5, or 7. Very strong kid.'”

Karlaftis’ Work Ethic Fits the Mold
It will be challenging to live up to a comparison like Watt, who is a likely first-ballot Hall of Fame pass rusher and defensive end. Having said that, the youngster’s work ethic does fit the description.

Watt was always known to be a hard worker and Karlaftis appears to live by a similar credo. He and Frank Clark have become quite the pair, spending tons of time together staying late after practice. KC Sports Network has been sharing videos of the two going through drills and fundamentals with one another.

It seems that the youngster is trying to add some new moves to his pass-rushing arsenal, eager to learn in any and every way possible. That’s promising, considering Karlaftis’ greatest concerns are very fixable. Things like technique, footwork, positioning, and hand placement. He already has the physical attributes and the high motor, as well as the desire.

Plus, with Dunlap joining the fold, that’s just another experienced brain for Karlaftis to pick. The 21-year-old is a sponge right now and the more established veterans around him the better. That includes defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who is no doubt excited to mold another young disruptor in the making.

If all goes well, Karlaftis will be feasting on quarterbacks next to Chris Jones and his two fellow edge rushers in no time. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll even show shades of a player like Watt.

https://heavy.com/sports/kansas-city-chiefs/george-karlaftis-jj-watt-nfl-comparison/
Very fairly written article! Glad George is getting early rave reviews. As the article states, he might not start right away, but they have veteran stopgaps there with the intention to mold Karlaftis for the spot when he’s ready.
 
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