5 defensive NFL Draft prospects 49ers must have atop big board

Houston Cougars cornerback Marcus Jones (8) Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Cougars cornerback Marcus Jones (8) Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 5
George Karlaftis, Purdue Boilermakers
Purdue Boilermakers defensive end George Karlaftis (5) Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

EDGE. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 3. player. 848. Purdue. George Karlaftis

No. 3 player on 49ers defensive NFL Draft big board: EDGE George Karlaftis, Purdue

Sticking with the pass-rush theme here, there’s a strong chance teams look at Boye Mafe and Purdue’s George Karlaftis as EDGEs 1A and 1B at some point on the fringes of the first and second rounds.

Karlaftis might not have the sheer straight-line speed Mafe has, but the 6-foot-4 and 275-pound Karlaftis sure does epitomize the three-down defensive end capable of bolstering the pass rush while also serving as a decent run-stopper on base downs.

George Karlaftis Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2019 Purdue Big Ten FR DE 12 30 24 54 17.0 7.5 0 0 0 2 2 1
2020 Purdue Big Ten SO DE 2 3 1 4 2.0 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
*2021 Purdue Big Ten JR DE 12 28 11 39 10.0 4.5 0 0 0 4 2 1 2
Career Purdue 61 36 97 29.0 14.0 0 0 0 6 4 1 3

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference
Generated 4/13/2022.

Granted, Karlaftis isn’t the more surefire tackling prospect, and he sometimes can waste movement with his angles. But with a bit more finesse and polish, there are plenty of reasons to expect him to turn into a quality edge rusher with three-down potential.

The only question is whether or not a team like the 49ers would have a shot at him late in Round 2. Some big boards peg Karlaftis as a late first-round pick, while others suggest he’d squarely be in play towards the end of the second round.

Either way, the Niners wouldn’t mind Karlaftis at all to bolster the pass rush.