(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2022 NFL Draft isn't until late-April, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospects, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis.)
- Name: George Karlaftis
- Position: DE
- College: Purdue
- Height/Weight: 6'4/266
- Did You Know: Karlaftis is originally from Greece, and prior to picking up football upon moving to Indiana, he played water polo for the Greek under-16 national team.
Where He's Projected:
Most draft analysts don't lump Karlaftis in with the top of this edge class, alongside the likes of Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson, Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux and Georgia's Travon Walker. But Karlaftis has impressive athleticism to go with his sizable frame, posting a 4.71 40-yard dash at his Purdue Pro Day and a 38-inch vertical at the NFL Combine. Add all that together with his college tape, and it shouldn't be a surprise to hear his name called in the Top 15 picks of this draft. Having said that, in a year where there's no consensus about the top prospects, perhaps it's possible Karlaftis could slip a bit further, down toward the Cowboys' range.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
This is a team that could obviously use some help on the edge. They did sign Dante Fowler Jr., but it's hard to predict how well that will work out – and even if he taps into the talent that made him a Top 5 pick in 2015, he's only under contract for one year. Even with DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong, Chauncey Golston and Tarell Basham under contract, this is still a group that could use some added juice. Karlaftis would be a big piece of the rotation on Day 1, and it's completely possible he could grab the starting job opposite Lawrence. Whatever angst is still left over from losing Randy Gregory to free agency, snagging Karlaftis could do a lot to cure it.
Kyle Youmans' Report: "The tape, the frame, the quickness, the motor all check the boxes for one of the most intriguing prospects in the edge rushing class. Set up to be the perfect fit of a 4-3 defensive end that will play 65-75 snaps a game with his vast array of rushing moves and relentless motor to find the football. Plays to both sides of the formation and is plenty athletic."