LAS VEGAS — The Kansas City Chiefs went with a Boilermaker for their second pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft: Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis.
Karlaftis was the no. 30 overall pick and the first Purdue player to be drafted in the first round since fellow defensive end Ryan Kerrigan in 2011.
During his last season with the Boilers, Karlaftis had 11 tackles, three forced fumbles, and four sacks. He sat out the Music City Bowl in December to prepare for the draft.
“It’s huge because it says if you want to achieve your goals, play at the highest level, get a great degree, make a name for yourself and have your family be part of it in your home state, you can do it at Purdue,” said Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, via a tweet from Goldandblack.com writer Tom Dienhart.
Karlaftis, who was born in Greece, started playing football in eighth grade, according to his NFL player bio. He relocated to West Lafayette in 2014 with his mother and three siblings after his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack.
According to a 2018 story by Goldandblack.com writer Brian Neubert, it took some convincing for Karlaftis to pick up football. His father, Matt Karlaftis, a track and field star at the University of Miami, received a serious head injury as a walk-on on the football team and dropped the sport entirely thereafter.
With encouragement from his family, George joined the team and became a four-star recruit while at West Lafayette High School, even winning a national defensive player of the year award as a senior.
During his career at Purdue, Karlaftis played in 27 games and earned All-Big Ten Conference honors following all three seasons as a Boilermaker.
He is the 22nd Purdue player to be chosen in the NFL Draft’s first round.
A Notre Dame player was also chosen in the first round. Safety Kyle Hamilton was picked 14th overall by the Baltimore Ravens.