Kawann Short Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On March – 25 – 2013

"Kawann Short"

Byron Hetzler-US PRESSWIRE

Kawann Short – Purdue University

Height: 6027

Weight: 299

Age when drafted: 24

Hometown: East Chicago, IN

Position: DT

Collegiate Number: 93

Combine notables: DNP

Games Viewed: 2012 – Ohio State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Iowa 2011 – Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois


Kawann Short attended Central High School and was a three star prospect, 24th defensive tackle nationally.

He redshirted in 2008 before taking over as a full-time starter for four years. Selected to Second Team All Big Ten as a sophomore after recording 6 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. In 2011 and 2012, his junior and senior seasons respectively, he earned All Big Ten First Team after totaling 12.5 sacks and 31.5 tackles for loss.

The four-year starter considered leaving Purdue after his junior season but a third round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee kept him in school.


Short was listed at 6-foot-3, 315 pounds but came in at almost 6-foot-3, 299 pounds at the Combine. He’s reported to bench press over 400 pounds and squat 600+.

Short has a gigantic wingspan at 34 ¾ arms and almost 10” hands. His vines for arms show up with 11 deflected passes and 4 blocked kicks in his career. Thick lower body but overall musculature was unimpressive at 299 pounds. Appeared to carry some sloppy weight in the midsection.

Surprising athlete with better than anticipated lateral agility. Didn’t test at the Combine but there is little question that Short possesses the athleticism to play the three-technique in the NFL.


Short faced plenty of double teams at Purdue. You can see his natural strength with his ability to anchor in the run game. Solid lower body strength. Overall strength to stack the point is impressive. When Short wants, he can be a dominate force at the point of attack with the ability to two-gap and chase the play going away. Enough explosion to disrupt plays in the backfield. Uses his hands well to shed and has a nice rip move. The theme in Short’s scouting report will be motor. Questionable motor and in several games he was frustrated early and taken out of the game. In several contests Short was bullied by double teams, had him on skates, and was a non-factor the remainder of the game. He stands around too often when he doesn’t beat his opponent initially. Very average read and react skills. Questionable instincts and plays high, losing leverage battles.


Quick feet and violent hands make him an intriguing three-technique at the next level. Short has notched quite a few sacks in his career and can take over a game from the inside if he gets going early. Has an array of pass rush moves (bull rush, rip, swim, arm over).  Again, questionable effort/motor when things aren’t going his way. His sack production came in multiples. When Short is initially shut down, he doesn’t counter and at times quit on the play. This will cause some concerns for NFL talent evaluators and could keep him out of the first round.


Short is a four-year starter with a very solid hand usage. Short knocked down quite a few balls, although could have been more had he stuck with plays. Good feet and lateral agility/quickness. Plays wide-based for the most part. Leverage is an issue as he plays high fairly consistently. Short needs to figure out how to stay squared to the line as he routinely destroyed by angle blocks.


Motor questions and didn’t see the competitive fire to want to be great. Wore down in games and was subbed in for more than Purdue could afford.


Kawann Short is a first round talent with the skills to be a disruptive three-technique at the next level. That said, his motor is questionable at best. He lost 15 pounds heading into his senior season but didn’t show up in his conditioning or harder play. Takes plays, series, quarters, and games off if he doesn’t win early matchups.

His talent is undeniable and teams will be intrigued by what they can get out of him if motivated. Short’s sweet spot is probably somewhere in the 2nd round, although I wouldn’t take the risk until the third. He could surprise and come off the board in round one.

POSSIBLE LANDING SPOTS: Round 1 – Denver Broncos Round 2 – Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys

VIDEO LINKS:  Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Iowa, Ohio State (2011), Michigan (2011), Illinois (2011), Illinois (2010)

  • John Steppling

    great analysis, as Ive always come away sort of underwhelmed after watching Short. He is ‘country strong’… the way nick fairly is, rather than weight room strong, but he’s also lazy and doesnt seem to have great natural leverage………and he SHOULD have, given his arms etc. He just doesnt put it to use……that said, you can see the upside…..if you can tap into it. A risk but a high risk pick.