The Kansas City Chiefs’ rookie minicamp began this weekend with the 10-man draft class taking center stage.
There seems to be a consensus that general manager Brett Veach made out pretty well with his selections, but one prospect has really grabbed the early headlines — defensive end George Karlaftis, who was drafted 30th overall in the first round.
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Karlaftis ‘Continues to Impress’
The Chiefs beat had a live look at rookie minicamp, where one player was not like the others — in a good way. The former Purdue pass rusher was dominant this weekend, according to Pete Sweeney of Arrowhead Pride.
“Speaking of relentlessness, defensive end George Karlaftis continues to impress throughout the workouts,” Sweeney tweeted after Day 2 of minicamp. “The No. 30 overall pick stands out, appearing almost too good for this camp. Looking forward to seeing him with the rest of the team during OTAs.”
He continued in a follow-up tweet: “I caught defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo calling over both Karlaftis and later No. 21-overall pick, cornerback Trent McDuffie, for one-on-one instruction during the team blitz period. As it should, certainly feels like team is preparing these guys to be day-one starters.”
Though he seemed encouraged to see a first-round draft pick shine, Sweeney reminded his Twitter followers after Day 1 that “these practices are in shorts.”
If Karlaftis is going to turn into a Week 1 starter, he shouldn’t look like a rookie, compared with other draftees. He hasn’t, according to Sweeney, a great sign for Chiefs fans.
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Other Standouts From Rookie Minicamp
Other prospects caught Sweeney’s eye over the first two days of minicamp.
At wide receiver, Mathew Sexton keeps coming up in conversation early on. Sweeney listed him as an “offensive head-turner” on Day 1 — along with wide receiver Andrew Boston, running back Jerrion Ealy, wide receiver Breon Michel and tight end Mark Vital.
Later, on Day 2, the Arrowhead Pride editor noted that he continues “to be impressed” with Sexton, adding that another wideout, Dionte Smith “had a solid day.” Sweeney also told fans that undrafted free agent Justyn Ross was having a “rather quiet camp.”
On defense, second-year defensive end Malik Herring was was labeled “best player at rookie camp” on May 8. Sweeney described the pass rusher as “consistently relentless,” highlighting a batted ball that turned into a diving interception.
Some other takeaways and notable moments from Sweeney:
- Day 1 interceptions from UDFA linebackers Jack Cochrane and Jordan Genmark Heath, as well as from defensive back Brandon Dandridge.
- One-handed catch from the aforementioned Boston at wide receiver.
- Forced fumbles from safety UDFA Antwon Kincade and linebacker UDFA Jonathan Jones.
- Day 2 pass breakups by linebacker draft pick Leo Chenal and cornerback UDFA Jascha Moore, as well as by safety UDFA Nasir Greer, who had a near-interception.
For the Chiefs’ crop of rookies, the minicamp is only the beginning. The real first test will come against roster veterans at organized team activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp, from June 14 to 16.