The Kansas City Chiefs received a welcome boost from veteran Melvin Ingram in 2022. They're hoping a younger replacement can make a similar impact.
If anything, the Chiefs know first-round pick George Karlaftis will certainly bring the energy. The Purdue product has already created a buzz with his endless effort during offseason practices.
"He goes 100 miles an hour," coach Andy Reid said, via ESPN. "Walk-throughs, everything. We had to slow him down. He moves around well when he's in space. He's got good hands, it looks like ... but that motor is probably the thing that jumps out at you. He goes and goes."
Karlaftis' motor was one of his strengths coming out of Purdue, where he proved to be a consistent defender against both the run and pass. He's not seen as a naturally talented rusher as much as he is a constant problem due to his energy expended on every down.
That will work out just fine for the Chiefs, who are happy to add Karlaftis to a defensive front headlined by Chris Jones and Frank Clark. Kansas City spent the 30th-overall pick on Karlaftis with the hope he can contribute early, and ultimately blossom from a player who is still relatively inexperienced on the football field into a consistent force at the sport's highest level.
Karlaftis will certainly bring the juice needed to reach such a status.
"Relentless," Karlaftis said when describing his style of play. "I get after the quarterback. I stop the run. I feel like I'm a three‐down player, I'm an all‐around player that can do anything and everything that's asked of him, so I think I bring that to the table. I feel like I'm very, very consistent. I feel like my best football is ahead of me.
... "I've been only playing football for about six to seven years now, so I'm really excited to develop under a great system, great teammates, great organization."
The Chiefs have established a standard most competitors have strived to match, winning the AFC title in consecutive seasons (2019, 2020) before falling painfully short in 2021. Karlaftis doesn't have to be a savior to a franchise that understands what it takes to reach the game's pinnacle.
It's an ideal situation for a player who possesses the desire to improve and simply needs the time to reach his potential. Until then, he'll continue to operate at 100 miles per hour.