It hasn't been the easiest season for Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short or his team, which stumbled to an 0-5 start in Big Ten play. But Short and the Boilers rebounded nicely Saturday against Iowa, and the senior is the pick for Big Ten Player of the Week.
Short bypassed the NFL draft this year and returned for his senior season, aiming to boost his draft stock. He certainly did Saturday at Kinnick Stadium, recording a career-best four tackles for loss, including a sack, as Purdue outlasted Iowa 27-24 for its first win at Kinnick Stadium since 1992. Short anchored a defensive line that held Iowa to 74 rush yards (2.4 ypc) and 264 total yards. He earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors for the first time this season and for the third time in his career.
Short leads the Big Ten in tackles for loss (13), ranking 27th nationally, and is tied for fourth in the Big Ten in sacks (5). He's third nationally among active FBS players in career tackles for loss (46.5) and tied for 15th in career sacks (17.5).
Colleague Todd McShay has Short at No. 27 on his latest list of the nation's top 32 NFL draft prospects, and Short's stock should rise after Saturday's game. Purdue has produced a series of strong NFL defensive linemen -- Cliff Avril, Anthony Spencer, Ryan Kerrigan, Mike Neal -- and Short looks like he'll continue the tradition.