2013 NFL Mock Draft: Broncos taking Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short in new ESPN mocks

Joe Robbins

The Broncos could use an infusion of youth in their interior defensive line, so it's not surprising that ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper both have the team selecting Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short in the first round.

2012 was a huge season for the Denver Broncos. While they did fall short of reaching the Super Bowl, they showed that Peyton Manning is still healthy enough to get them there, and they have a defense capable of stopping other teams. One of the few weaknesses is the interior defensive line, which doesn't have a ton of depth or young producers.

With that in mind, ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper released new mock draft updates last week, and both predict that the Broncos will address the defensive tackle position with the 28th overall pick in April. They have even agreed on the player.

Both McShay and Kiper have the Broncos selecting Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short. Here's McShay's thoughts on Short:

Denver could opt for a slot receiver who could give QB Peyton Manning another weapon, but the Broncos need to beef up the interior of their defensive line. Short is a strong run defender with a quick first step and a powerful upper body. The biggest knock on him is his inconsistent motor, but you don't see many guys loafing it in Denver now that Peyton is in town.

And here's Kiper's thoughts on Short in Denver:

Right now Justin Bannan is listed atop the Denver depth chart at nose tackle, and Bannan is 33 with no guarantee of returning in 2013. Insert Short, who can use leverage and strength to eat up blockers, and also has a knack for using long arms to swat passes. The question with Short has been whether he can generate consistent impact play to play, but when he's at his best, he can really free up pass-rushers and linebackers. Denver could also give corner a look here, where a player like Xavier Rhodes could be available.

SB Nation's Dan Kadar released his newest mock draft on Monday, and he also has Denver taking a defensive tackle, but this time it's Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins.

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