George Karlaftis
refer to caption
Karlaftis with Purdue in 2021
No. 56 – Kansas City Chiefs
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (2001-04-03) April 3, 2001 (age 21)
Athens, Greece
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:275 lb (125 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 2022
Player stats at · PFR

George Matthew Karlaftis (car-LOFT-is; born April 3, 2001) is a Greek-born American football defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). A native of Greece, he moved to the United States when he was 13. He was a multi-sport athlete as a youth, playing football, track and field, basketball, and water polo; the latter of which he played with the Greece national team. Karlaftis later played college football at Purdue before being drafted by the Chiefs in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Early years

Karlaftis was born on April 3, 2001, in Athens, Greece.[1] His father Matthew, who grew up as an all-around athlete in Greece, earned a degree in civil engineering at the University of Miami before pursuing a doctorate at Purdue University. His mother Amy, who had grown up near Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana, met Matthew as a freshman. While Amy spoke English to the couple's four children at home, they were otherwise brought up in Greek culture.[2]

Matthew died of a heart attack while on a business trip in 2014 to deliver a speech at an engineering conference in Kos. Following his death, Amy moved herself and her children back to West Lafayette, where Karlaftis began attending West Lafayette High School.[2] He had 41 sacks during his high school career.[3] He played in the 2019 U.S. Army All-American Game, where he was named the Defensive Player of the Year.[4][5] He also performed track and field for the school, including winning back-to-back state championships in shot put.[1] He graduated early from high school and enrolled at Purdue in January 2019.[2][6][7]

College career

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.[8] Karlaftis declared for the 2022 NFL Draft following the 2021 season in which he recorded 4.5 sacks.[9]

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)
4.78 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 drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round (30th overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft.

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][2] His brother, Yanni, won a judo world championship while in Greece and joined Purdue's football team as a linebacker in 2021.[1]

Karlaftis is a Christian.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e King, Sam. "Once told he 'sucks at football,' Division I prospect has long list of suitors". Journal & Courier. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Rittenberg, Adam (April 14, 2022). "NFL draft 2022: How George Karlaftis found his way to football between Greece and Indiana". Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  3. ^ Freshman DL Karlaftis could add punch to Purdue pass rush
  4. ^ West Lafayette's George Karlaftis, Purdue football on national stage at All-American Bowl
  5. ^ West Lafayette's George Karlaftis wins national award
  6. ^ Four-star DE George Karlaftis commits to Purdue
  7. ^ Early Commit: DE George Karlaftis to Purdue
  8. ^ Purdue Boilermakers DE George Karlaftis tests positive for COVID-19
  9. ^ "Purdue Star Defensive End George Karlaftis Officially Declares for 2022 NFL Draft".
  10. ^ "George Karlaftis Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  11. ^ "2022 Draft Scout George Karlaftis, Purdue NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  12. ^ Doering, Joshua (26 April 2022). "George Karlaftis seeking God first on journey from Greece to Purdue to NFL". Sports Spectrum. Retrieved 26 April 2022.