Chicago Bears Draft Safety Brandon Hardin from Oregon State with 79th Pick in 3rd Round

The Chicago Bears drafted safety Brandon Hardin from Oregon State with the 79th pick in the 3rd round.

Hardin grew up in Hawaii, and was a three-year letterman playing for former Oregon State graduate assistant coach Kanani Souza. His background as a sprinter and jumper in track and field is also evident in his athleticism. Hardin showed his toughness by playing the majority of his redshirt freshman season with a case on his broken hand and a sprained wrist on the other arm. He earned a more significant role on defense in 2009, including three starts. Hardin took over a starting cornerback job as a junior, while also sharing the team lead with 12 special teams tackles. Looking to build on that progress in 2011, Hardin suffered a broken shoulder during fall camp and underwent season-ending surgery. Considered a fringe draft
prospect, Hardin’s stock began to rise with a strong showing at the East-West Shrine Game in January – the first time scouts had a chance to see him on the field since the 2010 season. He then ran a 4.36 and 4.40-second 40-yard dash and bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times at his pro day. That’s three more than he was able to do before a shoulder injury. He also had a 35 1/2-inch vertical leap and a 10-4 broad jump. “The scouts said it went well,” Hardin said. “I blew it up with the times. They were impressed. I missed all last season and didn’t get an (NFL Scouting) Combine invite. This was my chance to turn some heads that I deserved to be in the combine. “I showed I have speed and strength and versatility,” Hardin said. “(The scouts) knew I was fast, but this was the first time I had a really solid time (recorded). And I proved the shoulder is healthy with the bench.” A cornerback in college, Hardin likely projects best to free safety in the NFL. “What I’ve been told, I have the potential to move myself up (in the draft),” Hardin said. “I just need my foot in the door and I’ll impress them.”

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