Eagles Draft Profile: Purdue DE George Karlaftis
Even after trading one of their three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Eagles could still target an edge rusher.
The Eagles have hosted prospects like Kayvon Thibodeaux alongside interior linemen Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt. Michigan DE David Ojabo appeared to be the perfect pairing but tore his Achilles during his Pro Day last month.
With Ojabo potentially out of the picture, the next best option for the Eagles could be Purdue edge George Karlaftis. Standing at 6’4 and weighing 275 pounds, Karlaftis burst onto the scene in his freshman year at Purdue.
In 2019, he recorded 7.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss in 12 games but slowed down the next two years. In 2020, Karlaftis only played three games due to COVID and injuries. The following year he was able to return to form and didn’t skip a beat for Purdue.
George Karlaftis in 2021 (12 games)
|Tackle||Tackles for loss||Sacks|
From a statistical standpoint, he doesn’t project as a high first-round pick, but the film doesn’t lie. A stark contrast to the modern-day DE build, Karlaftis has a traditional playstyle that old-school football fans will gravitate towards.
With how massive he is, Karlaftis can play both as an athletic defensive tackle and a big defensive end. His large frame is impressive, having rocked offensive tackles into the QB on multiple occasions.
Even though he’s athletic, Karlaftis plays more as a traditional defensive end, as opposed to being a speed-rush type. The main knock on him is he plays too high, which Karlaftis has gotten away with due to how strong he is, but that won’t fly in the NFL.
This issue is very coachable, and it shouldn’t be one that lingers in the pros. After Thibodeaux, Karlaftis could be the next-best edge rusher on the board, and the Eagles will have a lot of great options with the 15th and 18th picks in the upcoming draft.
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