The Las Vegas Raiders might have an opportunity to address a gaping hole in the middle of their defensive line. Recently released defensive tackle Kawann Short could be the answer to the team’s defensive shortcomings.
The Raiders moved on from defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in December after a historically inept defensive performance. A lot of the issues stemmed from a lack of pressure in the middle, opposing quarterbacks had free reign last year. This led to several issues to exacerbate, such as substandard play by the Raiders’ safeties. However, with Gus Bradley now in charge defensively, the team should add Short to shore up the middle.
Adding an upper-tier defensive tackle should be on the Raiders’ priority list, Short would take care of that need. Of course, there are concerns in adding Short, mostly due to his health. He has only played in five games these last two years due to shoulder injuries.
Is Short’s upside worth the potential cost?
Panthers are releasing two-time, Pro-Bowl DT Kawann Short today, per source. Teams in the market for DT help now have another strong option.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 16, 2021
A two-time Pro Bowler, Short’s 2018 campaign is the best gauge, as far as what he can bring if healthy. That year, he compiled three sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, and 16 pressures. Pro Football Focus gave Short noteworthy grades across the board for that season. He received an 83.7 overall grade, a 69.6 pass-rush grade, and 85.4 in the run defense department.
If Short’s healthy, he’d be an instant upgrade over Johnathan Hankins. Just look at how he obliterated blockers before succumbing to injury. After the team struck out with the Maliek Collins signing, the team desperately needs a defensive tackle. In addition to what they could potentially be getting, the Raiders could then use their first-round pick on an edge rusher or go offensive line. All things considered, this signing makes too much sense. There’s no doubt Raider Nation is hoping the team’s brass pulls the trigger.
Let us not forget how freakish of an athlete Kawann Short is. Crazy body control to come to balance in space and gather himself enough to work back for the shoestring tackle.
Hard to be underrated with elite talent, but at this point I think he is: pic.twitter.com/fTVeRwu8r9
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) June 1, 2019
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