Our pre-draft series continues with a profile on a mammoth defensive lineman from Purdue.
Ever since he was young people called him "K.K."
Actually, it was "Little K.K." to be exact.
That's quite the nickname when you consider Kawann Short is currently 6-foot-3, 299 pounds.
The Purdue defensive lineman has slimmed down to his current weight for the first time since middle school, a revelation that could hamper his draft prospects. No matter the size, Short is a versatile lineman with explosive run-stopping ability.
Although he played at times at 320 pounds, Short was a leader on Purdue's defense and an All-Big Ten selection.
The Boilermaker star continued a successful career into the 2013 Senior Bowl. When facing the nation's top prospects, Short stood out among the defensive linemen.
"My whole goal going into the Senior Bowl was just being consistent," said Short, the North team's Most Valuable Player. "That was one of the main things that I was focused on, and getting feedback from the NFL."
Short took the advice he received to heart and slimmed down to 299 pounds before the NFL Scouting Combine.
The weight loss has Short feeling like he can play all over the defensive line, no matter which team drafts him in the NFL. He took center stage at Purdue's pro day on Monday, running a 5.05-second, 40-yard dash in front of representatives from all 32 teams.
"I feel more versatile now," said the defensive lineman who recorded 49 tackles-for-loss, 19.5 sacks and eight blocked kicks in college. "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. So who knows? I might be between 300 and 305."
Short feels lighter on his feet and because of the transformation he's undergone since the end of his senior year, Short can be considered as a prospect for teams that play the 3-4 and 4-3 defensive alignment.
Short's career at Purdue also helped him prepare for both defensive fronts.
"At Purdue we did a little bit," Short said. "I played both. The whole couple games I played end a little bit. So I kind of got a feeling, but there's always more room for improvement."
Short's competitive mindset should help him at the next level. No matter where he's drafted or what position he's asked to play, the Purdue standout feels like he's up for the challenge and eager to compete.
"I like to win each time I'm on the field, going against an opponent," Short said.
The 2013 draft class boasts plenty of defensive line talent. Short is completely aware of the competition he's going up against, but if his Senior Bowl performance was any indication of what's to come, Short feels like he belongs in the NFL.