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Monday, February 3, 2014

Rookie Review: Kawann Short

It was a surprise to see Short picked. He was billed as a great value,
but he wasn't high on my radar at the time. I can't remember who I
expected there, but Larry Warford was a guy I really liked, and he
should've made the Pro Bowl at guard. Still, you can't argue with what
you got out of this pick.


2013 season performance

Short played over half the snaps at DT, and filled a really necessary
spot as a rush specialist inside. He didn't register high on the sack
list, at 1.5 sacks coming in behind six non-linemen, but his production
from a pressure, hit, and hurry situation (profootballfocus.com's
proprietary ranking) had Short as the top rookie interior defender with
36.

That's 21st in the league, and, again rookie highest. So Short's not
getting the easy route to the QB that those blitzers have gotten, or the
breaks that some of the other Panther rushers got, but Short's been
mixing it up in there, pushing the pocket. That has an immense and
immediate value in this or any other defense.


Longterm Prognosis

Short's an ideal 2nd starter at DT. He doesn't seem to have any run
deficiency to go with his top notch rushing. He's a guy who could, in a
pinch, play any of the interior DL spots and hopefully he'd never need
to, but he's got the body type to play some left end as needed, too.

He won't have those ridiculously punishing plays like Star Lotulelei
will, where you'll see him just bull a guy and then throw him down, but
he looks like the type of guy who'll defend his gap well and can get
after the passer in any situation. He's showing his lateral quickness
on the field, and you have

My only concern longterm involves his eye. I haven't really seen that
addressed anywhere - whether that's going to need fixing and what that
would mean for him in how he develops, how he trains (or whether it
affects his play). The draft process is rigorous and unforgiving -
left tackles become guards in some eyes because hands or arms are
fractionally smaller than wanted. Quarterbacks become receivers not
because of ability but size, and so on. And no one that I can recall
ever mentioned in a scouting report that his eyes go in different
directions. It hasn't seemed to bother his play, but when guys come out
of college being labeled inconsistent, you'd want to know why. Does
this play a factor?

I don't know. It's probably not a worry. Either way, Short's a guy
who provides a significant upside on a defense that has a lot locked in
around him. This should continue to be a win all the way.
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