The Purdue Boilermakers have had a mostly disappointing season so far in 2012. The team started 3-1 with their only loss coming in the final seconds at the hands of the third ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Since then Boilermakers have lost four straight games and need to win three of their final four contests to reach a Bowl. Not exactly what the team had in mind coming into the year with such high expectations.
The one bright spot, however, is defensive tackle Kawann Short. At 6-3 and 315 lbs, Short has dominated Big 10 opponents all season and has a great shot to be a first round pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
At the defensive tackle position Short is as versatile as they come. So far this year he has recorded 25 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, four sacks, and a whopping four blocked field goals. The most interesting stat may just be the blocked kicks. If you consider that he is a little undersized at 6-3, that’s quite the impressive feat.
Currently CBSSports has Short rated as the number 36th player in the draft class and sixth ranked defensive tackle. The four bottom teams in the NFL when it comes to rushing the passer are the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s still early, but one would think all of them would be picking in the first half of the first round in April, and that may be a little high to take Short. However, he could be scooped up late in the first by a squad looking for run stopping help, to which there are no shortage of teams. Otherwise look for him to be targeted in the early second round by one of the aforementioned franchises.
One thing to keep an eye on is an injury Short suffered this past Saturday. He was forced to leave the game in the first quarter with an ankle issue and was seen later on in a walking boot. It’s a long way to April so hopefully that doesn’t affect his draft stock too much.
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