Chris Jones' Heir Apparent Named Chiefs' Most Promising Building Block of 2024

Third-year defensive end George Karlaftis could become the next great Chiefs' defender behind Chris Jones.
Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chiefs
Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

The two-time defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are trying to win an unprecedented third-straight title, which is unheard of in the NFL. 

For the Chiefs to accomplish this impressive feat, they will need their defense to play lights out again, which they did last season. Kansas City was ranked second in scoring defense (17.3 points per game allowed) and sacks (56) only behind the Baltimore Ravens.

All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones played an instrumental role in the Chiefs’ success in 2023 as he racked up 30 combined tackles, 29 quarterback hits, 13 tackles for loss, and 10.5 sacks. 

The star defensive lineman wreaked havoc in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense and was rewarded with a five-year, $178.75 million contract extension this offseason. However, with Jones turning 30 years old, the Chiefs won’t be able to depend on him to shoulder the load over the next five years.

Kansas City will need other players to step up and take that mantle from the veteran defensive tackle. The good news for the Chiefs is they have a budding star in George Karlaftis, who is only getting better after an outstanding 2023 season.

Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon believes the former first-round pick is Kansas City’s most promising building block for the 2024 season, which is high praise for the 23-year-old defensive lineman.

“Wide receiver Rashee Rice is a sensible choice, his off-field concerns notwithstanding. But the Chiefs have a rising star on the edge, where George Karlaftis enjoyed a breakout 2023. He collected 10.5 sacks and 35 pressures in the regular season and three sacks in the playoffs.”

The 6-foot-4 defensive end only had six sacks as a rookie in 2022, but exploded onto the scene in 2023, giving offensive lines a lot to think about. In addition to his 10.5 sacks in the regular season, Karlaftis posted 17 quarterback hits and seven tackles for loss.

The former Purdue standout defensive end continued his impressive sophomore season in the playoffs, which included five combined tackles, three quarterback hits, and a half sack in the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers.

With the trajectory that Karlaftis is on to start his young NFL career, he has a lucrative multi-year extension on the horizon. 

We know what the Chiefs’ offense will do in 2024 with Patrick Mahomes. But if Karlaftis and Chris Jones can be that dynamic duo on the defensive line, good luck trying to slow down Kansas City.

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