Bengals Draft: Peter Schrager mock links Cincinnati to EDGE rusher

Leigh Oleszczak
George Karlaftis (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
George Karlaftis (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off in less than three weeks and fans are psyched to see how this Cincinnati Bengals draft turns out. To prepare for the draft, Peter Schrager of put together his first mock draft of the season and had Cincy selecting EDGE rusher George Karlaftis out of Purdue.

Here was Schrager’s analysis as to why he went with this player for the stripes:

"Karlaftis had 11.5 tackles for loss last season at Purdue, despite being the only elite talent on the defense. The Bengals get another young pass rusher to join their already promising unit."

It’d be hard to be upset with this pick.

The Bengals have put themselves in a position where they can go in a variety of directions when it comes to their first-round pick. Drafting at the end of the first round also means that all of the “elite” talent is gone but there’s no reason Cincinnati can’t find an explosive player to add to their AFC Championship roster from a season ago.

Bengals Draft: George Karlaftis would be a great addition

During his 2021 season with the Boilermakers, Karlaftis appeared in 12 games and notched 4.5 sacks with four passes defensed and two forced fumbles. It’s a shame he couldn’t enter the NFL Draft after his freshman season because that year (2019) saw the Purdue product rack up 7.5 sacks while totaling 54 tackles with 17 of those coming for lost yardage.

Cincinnati’s defense improved mightily last year and it’s a big reason why they were able to make it to the Super Bowl. They’ll get Joseph Ossai back from injury this year but that shouldn’t stop them from adding pass-rushing help, especially if Karlaftis drops to the second-to-last pick in round one.

With a young and improving defense, Karlaftis could be the perfect fit with this team. How would you feel if this was the direction the Cincinnati Bengals took on the first night of the draft?