In yesterday’s updated mock draft I had the Seahawks taking this guy in round two. The teams greatest need, in my opinion, is to identify a pass-rushing three-technique that can feature in the base defense. There’s a lot of defensive tackle depth among the 2013 draft class, so it’s not a position you’ll necessarily need to target in round one. It’s also worth noting the relatively unsuccessful history of the position in recent years.
In the three drafts between 2009-10, seven players were drafted within the top-40 picks that could be classified as a potential ‘three-technique’ candidates. Of the group, only Ndamukong Suh has really gone on to have much impact in the league.
Nick Fairley – 5.5 sacks in nearly two seasons
Corey Liuget – 5 sacks in two seasons
Gerald McCoy – 7 sacks in three seasons
Tyson Alualu – 8 sacks in three seasons
Brian Price – 3 sacks in three seasons
Peria Jerry – 2 sacks in four seasons
Sacks aren’t everything of course, in fact they’re one of the most overrated statistics in the sport. Pressure and splash plays are what it’s all about – and exactly what the Seahawks need on their defensive line. However, the group above has either been plagued with injury, underwhelmed or in Brian Price’s case – is out of the league altogether. Corey Liuget – despite looking like a prototype three technique – has ended up at the five-tech in a 3-4 scheme.
Overall it’s not a position where teams have found a lot of success drafting in the first round. That might change in 2013 with the likes of Sheldon Richardson, Star Lotulelei and Sylvester Williams expected to be early picks. It’s worth noting that the best pure three technique in the NFL right now is a former fourth round pick from 2010 in Geno Atkins. It’s also likely no coincidence that the Seahawks drafted Jaye Howard in a similar range last off-season, perhaps believing it to be a position with a high-bust potential in the early rounds. Howard hasn’t featured much to date and there might be several more swings at trying to find an answer to this problem without spending the high pick.
Short has some potential as a penetrative pass rusher but just like Johnathan Hankins, he blows hot and cold for effort. The Seahawks might be prepared to chance their arm on guys like this having created a dynamic dressing room with several vocal leaders. His bad level needs serious improvement. He tends to wear down quickly and is probably only a two-down player, plus conditioning has been a major issue for Short at Purdue. He does play with a nice burst and as you can see, he’ll shoot a gap and finish the play. He has the size (320lbs) to hold up well against the run but he still shows enough athletic quality to be a pass rusher. Take a look at his tape against Iowa (see video above) and let me know what you think.