Kawann Short fought the urge to scream. It wouldn't be, well, manly.
Short's manhood, as well has his football ability, got a boost when the call came that changed his life. The former Purdue defensive tackle was in his hometown of East Chicago with family and friends.
The call came from Carolina Panthers defensive line coach Eric Washington. The message was short and sweet: Carolina was about to take Short with the No. 44 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Short's second-round selection on Friday evening demonstrated that he had proven, at least to the Panthers, that he's better than the inconsistent-effort reputation that dropped him out of first-round consideration.
That was fine with Carolina generage manager Dave Gettleman, who wants defensive linemen who get after the quarterback given NFL teams now throw 55 percent of the time. Gettleman also took Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei in the first round.
With 19.5 career sacks and 49 career tackles for loss to go with his 6-3 and 299-pound frame, Short seemed the perfect choice.
“He's the most natural pass rusher of all the defensive tackles in the draft,” Gettleman said. “Pass rushing is natural for him. He's very instinctive about what he's doing and the way he uses his hands.
“He was at the top of our (draft) board. This gives us a tremendous defensive line rotation.”
Added Carolina coach Ron Rivera: “Kawann gives us more depth and a better rotation upfront. This is going to be a formidable group.”
Carolina and New England called Short in for individual workouts. The trip to Charlotte, N.C., made a big impression on Short.
“I loved it from Day One,” he said.
Love also came from NFL.com draft analyst Mike Mayock.
“They just doubled down on defensive tackles,” Mayock wrote. “Star Lotulelei fell to them with the 14th pick in the first round. Now, a position of strength and an identity on defense for them as a three-tackle rotation.”
Hoping to be drafted in today's final four rounds are Purdue cornerback Josh Johnson and Indiana defensive tackle Adam Replogle.