2.12 Carolina Panthers Kawann Short, DT, Purdue (6-2⅞, 299)
With the twelfth selection (44th overall) in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select defensive tackle Kawann Short from Purdue. Short had the talent and production in his college career to be a first round pick, but it was his motor that made him fall to day two. Over his years at Purdue, he totaled 17 pass deflections, four fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and eight blocked kicks. This may seem like a productive career, but Short has the talent to produce much more. Short’s best attribute is his elite quickness and hand strength. This guy can use this combination to be a great player against the run and the pass. He has the ability to be a disruptive force on the inside by stuffing the run with ease. Short has the quickness to shoot the gaps of the interior lineman and make plays in the backfield. He is strong enough and has the size to hold his ground against double teams; he also has the ability to stalemate his opponent and shed him to make plays at the line of scrimmage. On the pass rush, Short has the moves to push the opposing lineman out of the way with a bull rush or with hand fighting.
Now, the bad part: his motor, or lack thereof. With all of his talent and ability, Short is very inconsistent from one play to the next. He can look like an all-pro and then like a roster filler from play to play. Short needs the Panthers’ coaching staff to provide him with the motivation to use his talents to the best of his abilities. He needs to improve his work ethic in order to maximize his talents. If he is able to sustain an increase in his motor, Short will be a great NFL player. He has the ability to be a disruptive force in the middle of the Panthers’ line well into the future. The Panthers needed another guy to beef up the middle of the defensive front that gave up way too many big plays the year before. Luke Kuechly is going to be the guy that benefits the most, as he will be more freed up to be the defensive playmaker he was a year ago.