Prospect: Kawann Short, DT, PurdueKawann Short

Height: 6’27/8

Weight: 299 lb.

Athleticism:

  • Terrific burst to close on the football after disengaging from blockers
  • Lacks significant long speed to chase down the ball when forced to turn and run
  • Impressive foot quickness and hip flexibility, evident as a pass rusher
  • Sturdy frame with a thick lower half, generates power efficiently

Intelligence/Effort:

  • Was voted a captain for two season with the Boilermakers
  • Immense gap discipline, can stack blockers from a head up position and locates the ball instinctively
  • Has fatigue and effort level questions, takes plays off as a pass rusher, especially late in games

Pass Rush:

  • Can work methodically as a pass rusher if his initial move fails due to primo hand usage and technique
  • Heavy hands to knock pass rushers off balance including a strong club
  • Not a high impact bull rusher in one on one situations, plays passive during stretches
  • Finesse pass rusher as a whole who struggles to press the pocket from the middle
  • Gives up quickly and resorts to trying to bat passes when motor goes cold
  • Impressive record of batting balls including 11 pass breakups and 4 blocked kicks over his career

Run Support:

  • Natural shedder of blocks due to his ability to control blockers with his hands and create space for himself
  • Has ability to control and engage a double team with a wide base and precise hand usage
  • Likes to spin off contact back into the flow of plays, does so to varying effect, but shows ball awareness
  • Quick first step allows him to shoot gaps effectively and negate directional blocks from slow-footed offensive linemen
  • Struggles to flow down the line on edge runs, disappears from games against teams that specialize in running outside

Technique:

  • Plays with knee bend to sink hips and lower pad level, gets underneath blockers consistently in the running game
  • Will pop his pads up as a pass rusher and lose leverage when effort level drops
  • Strong hands which he fires into the chest of blockers to keep his frame clean, rarely gets locked up

Overall:

Kawann Short had the option to declare for the draft after a phenomenal junior season, but he opted not to.  Despite being plagued by an ankle injury during a stretch of games as a senior, he nearly matched the production of the previous season.  Short is still receiving nowhere near the publicity as a prospect that he should be.  He’s a technician between the tackles with impressive athleticism and a solid build.  Short also provides some scheme versatility.  He flashed the ability to control multiple gaps from a head up position as a junior.  As a senior, he wanted to force the issue more and wanted to penetrate and make plays in the backfield, negating that ability.  Most will naturally look at Short as your prototypical three technique defensive tackle prospect.  He would be put to best use on day one in the 4-3, but his long term potential may be highest as a five technique in a two-gap scheme.  Short has proven to be a space-eater on the inside where he puts his frame and advanced technical skills to good use.  The biggest obstacle for him to overcome is the motor issue.  If he ever turns into a defender with a down to down tenacity and aggressiveness, he’d be a welcome member of any of the league’s defenses.  As it stands, Kawann Short a skillful defensive lineman with versatility across defensive schemes who is well worth a pick late on the draft’s Thursday night.

Originally published at DetroitLionsDraft.com: Kawann Short Scouting Report

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