George Karlaftis
refer to caption
Karlaftis with Purdue in 2021
No. 56 – Kansas City Chiefs
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (2001-04-03) 3 April 2001 (age 22)
Athens, Greece
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:263 lb (119 kg)
Career information
High school:West Lafayette
(West Lafayette, Indiana)
College:Purdue (2019–2021)
NFL draft:2022 / Round: 1 / Pick: 30
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Total tackles:80
Forced fumbles:1
Fumble recoveries:2
Pass deflections:10
Player stats at · PFR

George Matthew Karlaftis III (Greek: Γιώργος Ματθαίου Καρλαύτης; kar-LAFF-tiss; born 3 April 2001) is a Greek professional American football defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). He was born in Athens and grew up as a multi-sport athlete playing football, track and field, basketball, and water polo, the latter of which he played with the Greek national team.

Karlaftis and his family moved to the United States when he was 13. He played college football at Purdue, where he won all-Big Ten honors before being selected by the Chiefs in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. In his debut season, Karlaftis was part of the Chiefs winning Super Bowl LVII roster and was a regular starter. In his second season, he was a key contributor in Kansas City’s Super Bowl LVIII win.

Early years

Karlaftis was born in Athens, Greece.[1] His father Μathiós "Matthew" Karlaftis grew up as an all-around athlete in Greece and later earned a degree in civil engineering at the University of Miami before pursuing a doctorate at Purdue University.[2] His mother Amy, who had grown up near Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana, met Matthew while she was a freshman. After marrying, they settled in Athens.[3] While Amy spoke English to the couple's four children at home, they were otherwise brought up in Greek culture.[4]

In his early years in Athens, he played water polo as a goalkeeper in the youth ranks of Panathinaikos,[5] the Greek team of which he is also an avid supporter.[6][7]

Matthew died of a heart attack in 2014 while on the island of Kos where he was to deliver a speech at an engineering conference there.[2] Following his death, Amy and her children moved back to West Lafayette, where George Karlaftis began attending West Lafayette High School.[4] He was enlisted in the school's football team and had 41 sacks during his high school career.[8] He also competed in track and field for the school, including winning back-to-back state championships in shot put.[1] He played in the 2019 U.S. Army All-American Game, where he was named the Defensive Player of the Year.[9][10] He graduated early from high school and enrolled at Purdue in January 2019.[4][11][12]

College career

Karlaftis At The White House In 2023

As a true freshman at Purdue in 2019, Karlaftis started all 12 games, recording 54 tackles and 7.5 sacks. He only played in three games as a sophomore in 2020 due to a positive COVID-19 result, finishing the year with four tackles and two sacks.[13] Karlaftis declared for the 2022 NFL Draft following the 2021 season in which he recorded 4.5 sacks.[14]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 3+34 in
(1.92 m)
266 lb
(121 kg)
32+58 in
(0.83 m)
10+14 in
(0.26 m)
4.71 s 1.65 s 2.69 s 4.34 s 38.0 in
(0.97 m)
10 ft 1 in
(3.07 m)
21 reps

Karlaftis was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round (30th overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft.[17] Karlaftis ended his rookie season with 33 tackles, six sacks, two fumble recoveries, and seven passes defensed.[18] The Chiefs reached Super Bowl LVII, where they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38–35, with Karlaftis recording two tackles in the game.[19] Karlaftis's second season ended with 47 tackles, 10.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and three passes defensed. Karlaftis helped the Chiefs reach Super Bowl LVIII where they defeated the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 to win their second straight championship.[20] In the Super Bowl Karlaftis recorded five tackles, 0.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.[21]

NFL career statistics

Won the Super Bowl
Bold Career high
Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck FF FR Yds TD Int Yds Avg Lng TD PD
2022 KC 17 17 33 18 15 6.0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 7
2023 KC 16 16 47 29 18 10.5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 3
Career 33 33 80 47 33 16.5 1 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 10

Personal life

Karlaftis was once a youth member of the Greece men's national water polo team.[1] His father, Matthew, was a javelin thrower for the University of Miami's track and field team and also tried playing on their football team before suffering a severe skull injury during his first practice with them.[1][4] His brother, Yanni, won a youth world championship in judo at 11 and joined the Boilermakers as an outside linebacker in 2021.[1]

Karlaftis is a Greek Orthodox Christian.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d e King, Sam (10 August 2017). "Once told he 'sucks at football,' Division I prospect has long list of suitors". Journal & Courier. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b Hekimoglou, Achilleas (4 June 2014). "Πέθανε ο καθηγητής του ΕΜΠ Μαθιός Καρλαύτης" [Μathiós Karlaftis, NTU professor, died]. To Vima (in Greek). Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  3. ^ "George Karlaftis Family". SportBlis. 13 January 2022. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d Rittenberg, Adam (14 April 2022). "NFL draft 2022: How George Karlaftis found his way to football between Greece and Indiana". Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Γιώργος Καρλαύτης: Από το τέρμα του Παναθηναϊκού, ο πρώτος Έλληνας στο NFL!". Aquafeed24 (in Greek). 6 May 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  6. ^ "Γιώργος Καρλαύτης_ Δείτε τον νικητή του Super Bowl, πιτσιρικά στη Λεωφόρο". (in Greek). SPORTDAY. 13 February 2023. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  7. ^ "Απάντησε στην ΠΑΕ με σύνθημα του Παναθηναϊκού ο Καρλαύτης!". (in Greek). 13 February 2023. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  8. ^ Brockway, Kevin (8 August 2019). "Freshman DL Karlaftis could add punch to Purdue pass rush". Herald Bulletin. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  9. ^ Carmin, Mike (4 January 2019). "West Lafayette's George Karlaftis, Purdue football on national stage at All-American Bowl". Journal and Courier. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  10. ^ Carmin, Mike (4 January 2019). "West Lafayette's George Karlaftis wins national award". Journal and Courier. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  11. ^ DeFabo, Mike (21 October 2017). "Four-star DE George Karlaftis commits to Purdue". Herald Bulletin. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  12. ^ Hamilton, Gerry (23 October 2017). "Early Commit: DE George Karlaftis to Purdue". Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  13. ^ VanHaaren, Tom (24 November 2020). "Purdue's Karlaftis tests positive for COVID-19". Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  14. ^ Fezler, D.J. (7 December 2021). "Purdue Star Defensive End George Karlaftis Officially Declares for 2022 NFL Draft". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  15. ^ "George Karlaftis Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  16. ^ "2022 Draft Scout George Karlaftis, Purdue NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  17. ^ McMullen, Matt (29 April 2022). "Five Things to Know About Chiefs' First-Round Pick Purdue DE George Karlaftis | 2022 NFL Draft". Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  18. ^ "George Karlaftis III 2022 Game Log". Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  19. ^ "Super Bowl LVII - Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs - February 12th, 2023". Retrieved 24 March 2023.
  20. ^ Maaddi, Rob (12 February 2024). "Patrick Mahomes rallies the Chiefs to second straight Super Bowl title, 25–22 over 49ers in overtime". AP News. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  21. ^ "Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs - February 11th, 2024". Retrieved 16 February 2024.
  22. ^ Doering, Joshua (26 April 2022). "George Karlaftis seeking God first on journey from Greece to Purdue to NFL". Sports Spectrum. Retrieved 26 April 2022.