Chiefs’ first round draft picks are out to prove doubters wrong

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The Kansas City Chiefs added two defenders in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft.

Both Trent McDuffie and George Karlaftis come from different schools and entirely different backgrounds. Other than being drafted by Kansas City, they do at least share one thing in common. They’ve both been doubted during the course of their football playing careers and they have a chip on their shoulder because of it.

Karlaftis’ Twitter biography reads: “Prove em wrong.”

This mentality is something that Karlaftis carried from his earliest days of playing football at West Lafayette in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He came over to the US from Greece at a young age. Once he found football, he set out with lofty goals to play in the NFL and do so at a very high level.

“My whole life, my whole life I’ve had doubters,” Karlaftis said. “Maybe at certain times there hasn’t been a whole lot of them, but there are always people who are like, ‘Oh, he’s not really that good.’ or ‘Oh, he didn’t really do that good of a job.’ or ‘He won’t do this, he won’t do that.’ For me, it’s always, prove those guys wrong and prove the people that trust and believe in you and love you, prove them right. It’s all about that. Specifically, to this day, 29 guys went before me and I’m going to prove to the teams and the people making those picks that I deserved to be the first guy off the board.”

Karlaftis isn’t the only one with a chip on his shoulder, though. McDuffie also is out to prove doubters wrong with his play. Listed at 5-11 and 193 pounds, McDuffie is considered undersized by NFL standards. He actually says he closely relates to former Chiefs S Tyrann Mathieu, who is someone who also has been considered undersized and has always been out to prove the doubters wrong.

“Yeah, growing up, shoot, watching Tyrann Mathieu at LSU, he was one of those dudes where he wasn’t the biggest, he wasn’t the fastest, but he was always going to make a play,” McDuffie said. “And that’s something I always try to do in my game is just be that person who is going to flash on the screen, be that guy who is always around the football because I’m a football player and I want to create the best opportunities for my team.”

Now that they’ve been drafted to the NFL, both McDuffie and Karlaftis are set on a path where they can prove those doubters wrong, but also prove their supporters right. They both know it won’t be easy and that they’ll need to earn it every step of the way, but they seem to be ready for the challenge.

“Obviously, I’m going to start off as the lowest man on the totem pole and work my way up,” Karlaftis said. “I’m going to earn my stripes and work as hard as I possibly can. There is a room with a lot of veterans and I’m going to try to do everything I can to help the team win.”

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Everything you need to know about the Chiefs' 2022 NFL draft on Day 2