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Lighter Short Looking to Make Impression

Posted Mar 12, 2013

Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short said he's more versatile after weighing in at 299 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- After a standout career at Purdue, defensive tackle Kawann "K.K." Short was bothered by a perception that he took some plays off.

So at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Short made sure to leave an impression.

“My whole goal going into the Senior Bowl was just being consistent," Short said. "That was one of the main things that I was focused on, and getting feedback from the NFL, and from the different coaches that – you know, my motor tends to die out. So my whole goal was to drop a little bit of weight, go into the Senior Bowl and try to be a guy that stands out.”

He certainly did that.

While his stat line showed just three tackles -- one for a loss -- his impact on the game went beyond the box score. He nearly sacked Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson on back-to-back plays, and NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah said Short "made a ton of plays."

Enough plays to earn him the title as the North team's Most Outstanding Player on defense.

While he wasn't able to build on that impression at the NFL Scouting Combine -- a hamstring injury prevented him from taking part in drills -- Short hopes his Senior Bowl production combined with his college tape will help teams realize what he can bring to the NFL.

And he will look to impress scouts even further at his Pro Day on March 25.

“Since I did the Senior Bowl, and that’s the last thing they remember -- just run off that," Short said. "Try to make it even better, and come the Pro Day, I’ve got to do my best and try to beat some of these good times that are going to be run by these D-tackles this week (at the combine).”

Short weighed in at 299 pounds at the combine, joking that he hadn't checked in under 300 pounds since sixth grade.

He hoped that signaled to clubs that he has the work ethic to succeed at the next level. After all, he said he weighed a "sloppy" 335 pounds as a freshman at Purdue, and continued to work his way to where he is now.

"I feel more versatile," he said of weighing 299. "My conditioning is way better than it used to be. I can play a lot more, I can run a lot more, and I can hustle. So that was the main thing I was trying to do, just find a weight I was comfortable at, and keep going at that."

At Purdue, Short accumulated eye-popping stats, including 49 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks and eight blocked kicks.

He was a first-team All-Big Ten player for his final two seasons at school, and earned second-team All-America honors in 2012.

With the draft approaching, he wants to make sure NFL teams have him high on their list in a deep defensive tackle class.

“All these guys are pretty good, so I’m just trying to go out every week and create a new name, and make sure everybody notices you," he said. "Just in the workouts, and the Pro Day and the private workouts, I’ve got to mentally cross these guys over to say, ‘This guy is ready. We want him on our team.’”