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2013 NFL Draft Prospects: Kawann Short Scouting Profile

Kawann makes the Short list of prospects that fit the Broncos scheme

Jonathan Daniel

The Denver Broncos have a need to pick up a Defensive Tackle in the 2013 NFL Draft and there will be a few choices in the top 100 picks. One such candidate is Kawann Short, a Redshirt Senior out of Purdue. A big man at 6’3", 325, Kawann is ranked 7th out of 218 Defensive Tackle prospects and 40th overall. He is projected to be taken in the 2nd round. His pre-Combine 40 Time is listed as 5.16 seconds.

So lets take a long look at Short.


#93 Kawann Short
February 2, 1989 (age 24)
Arm Length: 33 3/4"
Hand Length: 9 1/2"

2012 Team Captain
2× First Team All-Big Ten (media) (2011 & 2012)
First Team All-Big Ten (coaches) (2012)
Second team All-Big Ten (media) (2010)
Second Team All-Big Ten (coaches) (2011)
Second Team AP All-American (2012)

Short committed to Purdue University on April 13, 2007 and was a Redshirt in 2008. In 2009, Kawann started all 12 games, with 48 Tackles, 4 Tackles For Loss, 3 Pass Breakups and two Interceptions. That earned him freshman All-American by and a selection to the Big Ten All-Freshman team by The Sporting News.

As a sophomore in 2010, Short had 41 total Tackles, 12.5 TFL’s, 6 Sacks and 8 Pass Breakups, blocked an extra point and a Field Goal.

In 2011, he started all 13 games and finished with a career-high 54 Tackles, 17 TFL’s, 6.5 Sacks, Forced a Fumble, Recovered a fumble, had two Pass Breakups and blocked a pair of Field Goals.
Kawann was also named team defensive MVP and voted co-captain by his teammates.

Last season Short started 13 games, with 43 Tackles, 15.5 TFL’s, 7 Sacks, 4 Pass Breakups and a Forced Fumble. He graduated with a degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision.

NFL Draft Profile


GRADE 82.6

For the second straight season, Purdue players voted Short one of their team captains. Though not all NFL scouts believe wearing a "C" should mean something in terms of player evaluation, it’s a fact that can’t be ignored when adding it to his obvious combination of size and athleticism. Short considered entering the NFL draft after that strong junior campaign, but the NFL draft advisory committee gave him feedback stating he would be no worse than a third-round pick. If he can improve his consistency as a senior while playing inside and outside in a multiple-front Boilermaker’s defense, however, look for Short to land in the top 50 overall picks as a starter for 3-4 or 4-3 teams at the next level.
As a redshirt freshman, Short started all 12 games and received Freshman All-American honors after making 48 tackles, four for loss, and two interceptions during the year. The league’s media gave him honorable mention notice for his sophomore year efforts, as he finished in the top five in the conference in tackles for loss (12.5) and sacks (six). Short again started every game (making it 37 straight) in 2011, garnering second-team All-Big Ten accolades from coaches and media with his 17 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He also blocked two kicks for the second straight season.

STRENGTHS Potential starter with NFL size and length who can be as good as he wants to be. Plays every position on the line for the Boilermakers. Stands his ground well, anchors man-up and against double-teams. Good upper body strength to rip off his man and make plays in the run game, as well as arm-over leaning linemen to pressure the passer. Can two-gap, moving his man or spinning off to either side to stop ballcarriers getting past the line. Shows a good burst to the ball when he sees it directly in front of the backfield. Tough for ballcarriers to shed because of his long arms and strong hands. Capable of pushing his man into the backfield with his thick arms and strong lower body. Feels a feigned block on screen plays.

WEAKNESSES Holds extra weight in the middle of his body. Needs to find the ball consistently, regularly gets fooled by misdirection. Does not have closing speed to chase plays away from the trenches. Play-to-play effort is questionable; stands around to watch the play too often, especially when tired or playing against better talent.


BOTTOM LINE Purdue’s two-time team captain earned All-Big Ten recognition in 2011 (17 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks) using his NFL size and surprising athleticism, the same attributes making Short a potential starter in 4-3 or 3-4 systems at the next level if he controls his weight and improves his consistency.


Trying to become the next first round Boilermaker, Short has started at Purdue since his freshman season and has tallied 33.5 tackles for loss over his career. He enters the 2012 season as arguably the Big Ten's No. 1 senior NFL prospect.

Short was a three-star prep recruit out of the Chicago area and committed to Purdue prior to his senior year in high school. After redshirting in 2008, he started every game as a freshman and sophomore, combining for 12.5 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks.

Short had his best season as a junior last season, setting career-bests with 54 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, earning First Team All-Big Ten and team MVP honors.

He considered leaving school a year early, but was given a third-round grade by the NFL Draft Advisory Board.

"I felt like if I had another year, I could develop and become a power player," he told ESPN. "Get my body right, get in better shape and learn the game more. That's just motivation to make me strive even harder this year."

Short squats more than 600 pounds and bench presses in the 400s.

"He's playing harder on a more consistent basis right now than he was this time last year," Purdue coach Danny Hope said. "He runs to the ball better, pushes himself more and dominates the line of scrimmage more consistently. He's always been able to dominate some; on any given play, Kawann would show up and make a big play. "But now he's showing up more in practice. If he continues at the pace he's going and gets himself in great shape, he can be a dominant player at his position in our league and on a national level."

Short is a large human being with a huge wingspan, using his long arms to bat down passes (11 pass break-ups) and make plays on special teams (4 blocked kicks).

Short can be an immovable object in the middle of the field when he plays disciplined and generates power from his lower body. However, he too often gives streaky effort and doesn't consistently play with leverage.

Short sees a lot of double-teams, but scouts want to see more of a mean streak and less passiveness. He has been productive over his first three seasons in West Lafayette, but there is also some negative game tape out there on him. And while Short will still be an attractive pro prospect because of his natural size and tools, he needs to prove he can be consistently more than just a plugging space-eater to cement his top-50 status.--Rob Rang

Charlie Campbell of Walter Football’s take on Kawann:

Skill-Set Summary: Short has a nice combination of quickness and strength. He is strong at the point of attack and is a stout run defender. Offensive linemen can't push Short around, as he holds his ground. Off the snap of the ball, Short has impressive initial quickness to fire into his gap. He is capable of beating guards with his quickness and commands extra blocking attention on the interior of the line. He has natural pad level and leverage with his height, so NFL teams won't have to worry about him playing too high. If Short had a quality end next to him, they could provide a tough combo pass rush from the inside and outside.

Kawann Short Scouting Report

+Solid size and bulk, will be interesting to see if 6’3″ is actual height
+Shows good initial quickness off the snap, great first step
+Very strong, especially through his lower body
+Can’t move him with just one player, solid anchoring strength
+Motor has improved from the beginning of his college career
+Has the length to keep blockers at bay
-Doesn’t play well in space, not explosive laterally
-Conditioning is a factor, might be a 30-35 snap guy initially
Pass Rush:
+Adept at tracking down scrambling quarterbacks
+Shows some arm-over, rip, hesitation and spin moves
+Bull rush effective when pad level is down
-Too often content to be blocked when initially stopped
-Needs to develop some counters and a more consistent second effort
-Speed rush on the outside is ineffective
Run Stuffing:
+Can use his strength to shed blockers
+Quick enough to shoot gaps and disrupt plays in the backfield
-Inconsistent anchor against double teams, plays on skates at times
-Too often gets locked onto by offensive linemen
-Gets angled out of the play, especially when playing DE
+Flashes good hand usage and placement, but needs to be more consistent
+Splits gaps effectively, makes a lot of splash plays
+Keeps a nice base, occasionally is too narrow and gets off balance
-Needs to keep shoulders square, will get turned and leveraged at times
-Pad level is inconsistent, needs to stay lower
-Fails to get arms up to influence passing lames when stopped
+Plays a variety of positions (NT, DT, DE)
-Doesn’t seem to recognize plays quickly
-Has trouble locating the ball at times
+Two year team captain
+Leader in the weight room
Short has obvious talent. What he’ll make of it at the next level remains to be seen. If he can keep his effort level up from play to play and through the whistle, he can be an absolute menace against the run and the pass.

Able to play the nose, 3-tech and 5-tech positions.

NFLDraft Scout


Kawann Short vs Illinois 2011

Kawann Short vs Ohio State 2011

Kawann Short vs Notre Dame 2012

Kawann Short has been Mocked to the Broncos' with their first round pick recently. Short is nimble on his feet, which is a huge asset for a big Interior Lineman. The knock on him is that he struggles with his conditioning and could be a dominant player if he wants to, but doesn’t play hard on every snap. He possesses great hand technique and pad level and can forklift a pass blocker almost at will. If the Broncos were to select him, Kawann would be an ideal fit paired with Derek Wolfe on the Broncos Defensive Line. If Short maintains his ranking projection through the Combine, Denver might be better off trading back (if they have the opportunity) to select this kid. However, he could rise up the draft boards and fall right into the Broncos lap at 28.

Go Broncos!

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