“KK consistently affects the quarterback and is strong against the run,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “The mismatches he creates for us on defense force opponents to be aware of him at all times and give us an edge along the defensive line. He’s a great player, but also a quality young man who has the respect of his teammates in the locker room. He’s everything we’re looking for in a Panther.”
Despite failing to make the Pro Bowl last season, Short remained one of the NFL's best interior linemen. Pro Football Focus graded him as the third-best interior defender in football, behind only Aaron Donald and Calais Campbell.
He was the position's second-best run defender and ninth-best pass-rusher, making him and Donald the league's most versatile options.