Purdue Boilermakers standouts George Karlaftis, David Bell entering NFL draft

Purdue Boilermakers standouts George Karlaftis and David Bell are heading to the NFL, but their status for the team's upcoming bowl game is unclear, coach Jeff Brohm said Sunday.

Karlaftis, a junior defensive end, is No. 21 on Mel Kiper's ESPN Big Board for the 2022 draft. Kiper ranks Bell, a Biletnikoff Award finalist this season, among his top 14 wide receiver prospects for the draft. Both players earned first-team All-Big Ten honors.

"They will not be coming back to play next year," Brohm said Sunday. "They will be moving on."

Brohm said the staff is gathering more information on whether Karlaftis and Bell will play in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl. Purdue will face Tennessee on Dec. 30 in Nashville.

Karlaftis has 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 8 quarterback hurries and 2 fumble recoveries this season, and he has 14.5 sacks in his Boilermakers career. Bell leads the Big Ten in receptions (93) and receiving yards (1,286). Named Big Ten wide receiver of the year, Bell needs only 21 receiving yards to match Purdue's single-season record.

Brohm said quarterback Aidan O'Connell has not decided whether he will return for a final season in 2022.

"We're always optimistic, but over the course of the next couple weeks, I would hope he would make a decision," Brohm said. "We'll definitely gather as much information this week on that."