The Carolina Panthers have signed second-round draft choice (44th overall) Kawann Short from Purdue. The powerful defensive tackle becomes the first of the team's five draft picks to sign.
Short, 6-foot-3 and 308 pounds, started all 50 games he played and ranks third in school history for tackles for loss and sacks by a defensive tackle. He gathered 49 tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks to go along with 186 tackles, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, two interceptions and 15 passes defensed. Additionally, Short blocked a school-record eight kicks, including six field goals.
"We are very pleased to have Kawann under contract," general manager Dave Gettleman said. "We felt he was the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the draft, and we are excited about what he can bring to our defensive front."
Strong against the run and possessing a variety of pass rush moves, Short twice earned All-Big Ten Conference honors – a first-team selection as a senior and a second-team choice as a junior. He led the Boilermakers for the second consecutive season with seven sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in 2012 and was named the team's most valuable defensive player in 2011 after corralling 6.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss – the most by a Purdue defensive tackle since 1992. Short was a Freshman All-American by College Football News and Big Ten Conference All-Freshman by The Sporting News in 2009.
"Coming in this morning and signing my contract, it's a blessing to be in this position," Short said. "I was just talking to my mom. Everybody's proud. I'm just happy to put a smile on her face."
With Short signed, Carolina's unsigned draft choices are first-round selection Star Lotulelei, fourth-round pick Edmund Kugbila, fifth rounder A.J. Klein and sixth-round choice Kenjon Barner.