Arizona Cardinals met with Purdue’s George Karlaftis last week, per report
The Arizona Cardinals hosted Purdue Boilermakers edge rusher George Karlaftis for a visit last week, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Monday morning.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder is a projected first-round talent in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.
In 12 games played with the Boilermakers last season, the junior lineman tallied 4.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Karlaftis was linked to the Cardinals early on this offseason, with the edge rusher heading to Arizona in ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s first mock draft of the year.
In Todd McShay’s most recent mock draft released last week, the ESPN analyst has Karlaftis going No. 24 to the Dallas Cowboys, with the Cardinals opting for Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks at No. 23.
Among the Cardinals’ biggest offseason needs, adding another edge rusher to the fold is right up there at the top following outside linebacker Chandler Jones’ departure to the Las Vegas Raiders this free agency.
As of Monday morning, Arizona’s outside linebackers room includes Markus Golden, Dennis Gardeck, Devon Kennard and second-year pro Victor Dimukeje.
Of the four, Golden is the team’s lone returning starter on the outside, leading all Cardinals defenders with 11 sacks to go along with 44 pressures last season.
NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein considers Karlaftis “a future starter as a strong-side defender in an even or odd front.”
He’s a lift-and-leverage run defender at the point of attack but fits into a “team defender” column more than “premium run-stopper” category. He’s a force-based rusher with anchor-busting power and the ability to get to his counters when the rush begins to stall. With just two full seasons under his belt, there will be more development headed Karlaftis’ way.