Kawann Short Scouting Report

February 27th, 2013

Kawann Short could go anywhere between 25th and 75th, but our Darren Page likes him at the top of that range

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Height: 6’2 7/8”
Weight: 299 lbs
Grade: 7.33 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

+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

+Was voted a captain for two season with the Boilermakers
+Outstanding 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

+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

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.—Darren Page

Scouting Notes:

Purdue vs. Penn State
• Gets hand into the passing lane on a checkdown well, doesn’t get a hand to the ball but distracts the receiver enough to cause a drop
• Tries to swim the left guard on an edge run but gives up too much chest and can’t explode through the gap and gets pancaked
• Recognizes a checkdown pass quickly while stood up as a pass rusher, flows over the top to it
• Creates space with his hands well to work down the line on an outside run and get in on the tackle as the ball carrier cuts it up
• Penn State running off tackle almost exclusively, Short mostly negated from nose tackle position
• From head up, takes a step outside before recognizing an inside lead play, disengages and shoots inside, just gets a piece of the backs ankles but can’t bring him down
• Fluid dropping into coverage on multiple zone blitzes
• Swats a fourth and two pass to force a turnover on downs, follows the eyes of the quarterback into the passing lane when rush attempt fails
• Sniffs out a screen and trails it perfectly, can’t quite make the tackle in space though

Purdue vs. Notre Dame
• Blows by Braxston Cave with a quick lateral move and crushes Everett Golson when he freezes up at the sight of Short
• Spins off a run block back into the hole, in position to make the tackle when his teammates get there first
• Slams on the brakes when he recognizes screen and backtracks to make the tackle on the edge
• Swims the right tackle and into the backfield, misses the back who jukes out of the tackle but still causes a loss on the play
• Facing a high number of double teams and extra blockers
• Pops the pass blocker in the chest to create space and breaks on Golson when he leaves the pocket, forces him go wide on the run and limits yardage
• Blows by the right guard with ease, a quick lateral step, burst through gap, and swatting his hands, sacks Golson before he can move off his spot
• Swims cave to his backside gap and accelerates on the ball quick enough to trip up the back in the backfield

Purdue vs. Iowa
• Shoots inside then redirects back out on an outside zone, trips up the ball carrier in the backfield impressively
• Too quick inside for a cutoff block and gets into the backfield to make a tackle for loss from the backside
• Drops into coverage from his nose tackle spot and follows the quarterback’s eyes, takes away the crossing route initially
• Tries to swim the run block of the center and gives up too much chest, eventually sheds him with a club but gets pushed back first
• Works his way through traffic as a pass rusher and shoots low, trips up the quarterback as he attempts to step up in the pocket
• Controls the run blocker and throws him to the ground, forces the back to cut it up inside to pursuing linebackers
• Knocks the center off balance with a strong punch as a pass rusher, explodes to the quarterback and trips him up as he attempts to back out of the sack and escape
• Waiting for the quarterback when he takes off from the pocket, fails to break down and whiffs on the tackle at the line of scrimmage
• Too quick off the snap for a cutoff block from the tight end and chases down another run from the backside for no gain
• Completely bullies the right guard off the snap and pushes him right back into the ball carrier, slides off to make the tackle
• Follows a pull around the corner after eluding a down block, tries to rip the ball out as the running back gets tackled

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