Purdue Edge Rusher Named Broncos’ Dream Draft Target

Broncos George Karlaftis

Getty George Karlaftis reacts after a sack.

The Denver Broncos are expected to pursue pass rushers this offseason.

They will be many strong free-agent options including Chandler Jones and Von Miller, but if the Broncos spend significant cap space on the quarterback position, the NFL draft may be the best option.

Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay recently released an article listing every NFL team’s dream draft target. He listed Purdue edge rusher George Karlaftis as the Broncos’ dream draft target.

George Karlaftis would give the Broncos some additional pass-rushing firepower after trading Von Miller midway through the 2021 campaign.

The Purdue defensive end would need to transition to outside linebacker in Denver’s 3-4 system but should have little issue terrorizing opposing quarterbacks in the pros regardless of where he lines up.

The 6’4″, 275-pounder secured 29 tackles for a loss and 14 sacks across 26 games with the Boilermakers.

The Broncos should be rushing to put the pick in if Karlaftis—the No. 6 overall prospect on the Bleacher Report Scouting Department’s board—is still available when they are on the clock.

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George Karlaftis Has Elite Athleticism

Karlaftis is a great athlete. He has a rare combination of strength and speed. He reportedly did a 505-pound front squat, and he does hand-to-hand combat and MMA drills as part of his training.

Karlaftis stands at 6’4″ and weighs 275 pounds. He ran a 4.69-second 40-yard dash last offseason. In the history of the NFL combine, only six edge rushers have run a sub-4.7-second 40-yard dash, while weighing at least 275 pounds.

He has all the physical traits to become an elite pass rusher in the NFL.

In addition, Karlaftis’s production at Purdue was impressive.

Last season, PFF gave Karlaftis a pass rush grade of 90.6, and Karlaftis recorded a pass rush win rate of 23.6%. Those are both elite marks.

Karlaftis’s best game came against #2 Iowa. He racked up a whopping 12 pressures and one sack.


Karlaftis Should Be on the Board for the Broncos

The 2022 draft class is headlined by two edge rushers: Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux. Both of those players should be top five picks.

Karlaftis and Michigan’s David Ojabo are the next edge rushers on a lot of big boards.

In PFF’s latest mock draft, Karlaftis is selected 12th overall by the Minnesota Vikings.

ESPN’s Todd McShay surprisingly predicted Karalftis will be selected 26th overall by the Tennessee Titans in his most recent mock draft.

Therefore, Karlaftis will most likely be on the board for the Broncos at pick number nine.

Karlaftis could be an impactful player for the Broncos’ defense. The Broncos’ pass rush was disappointing last season. Veteran Shelby Harris led the team with six sacks.

As a team, the Broncos had a total of 36 sacks last season, which was 18th in the NFL. They also had only 45 quarterback knockdowns, which was 23rd in the league.

Karlaftis in tandem with a healthy Bradley Chubb could immediately boost the team’s pass-rushing production next season.

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