Short is at his best playing for penetration into the backfield. When he can explode through the line and split blockers, he's a very aggressive presence in the trenches.
He has good size and strength and seems to use his hands well to initiate contact. Short is pretty athletic for a tackle but he isn't a nose tackle. If consistent double teams come, he can disappear.
In order to progress as a player, he needs to stay lower in his pads and use better leverage when really taking on guys one on one. Possibly due to his above average athleticism, he plays small by trying to shoot gaps rather than occupy running lanes. Needs to get his hands up when in the face of the quarterback.
Short has some potential but he's still a bit raw and lacks that brute force to attack guys right between their numbers."
Kawann Short is the type of player that isn't flashy but gets the job done. His best attribute is his strength and ability to control the line. He does a great job of keeping low and firing into the offensive line. Short quickly gets his hands up and inside allowing him to create some space. His strong and violent hands help him quickly disengage from attempted blocks. Short routinely gets a push off the line disrupting the offensive backfield.
While not possessing an elite burst, Short is explosive enough to make plays away from his frame. At times, Short looses the football and takes himself out of the play. He needs to improve his ball awareness to ensure he is in the correct position. His lack of elite explosiveness will limit his big play ability. The NFL is about creating pressure quickly which is something Short will struggle to accomplish.
Overall, Short is a very good looking prospect but needs to land in the correct scheme. His best fit would be at the nose tackle position in a 4-3 system. He could possibly hold up at the nose for a 3-4 team that doesn't require someone with more bulk.
Bold Statement: Short will be a nose tackle in a 4-3 scheme starting early in his career.
Games Viewed: Northwestern ('10), Ohio State ('10), Illinois ('10)
- Short has good size with a thick and powerful base
- He has a good bend and is able to keep low throughout the play
- His low pad level helps him maintain leverage and create a push
- Short doesn't have great quickness and is unlikely to make his living shooting the gaps
- He has very good strength allowing him to hold at the point of attack
- Not only does Short hold at the point he also does a great job of getting a push
- He uses his leverage, hands, and strength to disrupt the offense
- Short has impressive upper body strength and can really control the lineman
- That strength also allows him to quickly shed and pursue
- His skill point to a future as a two gap defender
- He has strong and violent hands
- Short has just enough short area quicks to make plays away from his frame
- At times, Short appears to loose the football"
A defensive tackle with his size and athletic ability will certainly catch the eye of NFL scouts, and with the class of 2012 shaping up to be somewhat of a weak class in terms of the depth at defensive tackle, and Short has the type of talent that NFL scouts drool over. The only thing we need to see from Short in the future is health and consistency to deem him a first or second round prospect."