The Kansas City Chiefs received a welcome boost from veteran Melvin Ingram in 2022. They’re hoping a younger replacement can make a similar impact.
If anything, the Chiefs know first-round pick George Karlaftis will certainly bring the energy. The Purdue product has already created a buzz with his endless effort during offseason practices.
“He goes 100 miles an hour,” coach Andy Reid said, via ESPN. “Walk-throughs, everything. We had to slow him down. He moves around well when he’s in space. He’s got good hands, it looks like … but that motor is probably the thing that jumps out at you. He goes and goes. “
Karlaftis’ motor was one of his strengths coming out of Purdue, where he proved to be a consistent defender against both the run and pass. He’s not seen as a naturally talented rusher as much as he is a constant problem due to his energy expended on every down.
That will work out just fine for the Chiefs, who are happy to add Karlaftis to a defensive front headlined by Chris Jones and Frank Clark. Kansas City spent the 30th-overall pick on Karlaftis with the hope he can contribute early, and ultimately blossom from a player who is still relatively inexperienced on the football field into a consistent force at the sport’s highest level.
Karlaftis will certainly bring the juice needed to reach such a status.
“Relentless,” Karlaftis said when describing his style of play. “I get after the quarterback. I stop the run. I feel like I’m a three-down player, I’m an all-around player that can do anything and everything that’s asked of him, so I think I bring that to the table.I feel like I’m very, very consistent.I feel like my best football is ahead of me.
… “I’ve been only playing football for about six to seven years now, so I’m really excited to develop under a great system, great teammates, great organization.”
The Chiefs have established a standard most competitors have strived to match, winning the AFC title in consecutive seasons (2019, 2020) before falling painfully short in 2021. Karlaftis doesn’t have to be a savior to a franchise that understands what it takes to reach the game’s pinnacle.
It’s an ideal situation for a player who possesses the desire to improve and simply needs the time to reach his potential. Until then, he’ll continue to operate at 100 miles per hour.