Holding the 79th pick in the third round the Bears selected Oregon State cornerback Brandon Hardin (6-3, 217) to play safety for the Bears. Marking the eighth consecutive year the bears have selected a safety, and the third in a row drafting one in the third round.
That many selections suggest that the position is clearly in a state of flux and are looking for an answer in the defensive backfield. After taking Major Wright and Chris Conte in the third round each of the past two seasons, many Bears fans may be wondering where Hardin fits in.
Hardin impressed scouts at the East West shrine game after missing the past season with a fractured left shoulder. On the heels of a strong showing at the East West shrine game, Hardin dazzled at his pro day, after not being invited to the combine, running a scintillating forty yard dash at 4.36 seconds.
With a background in track and field as a sprinter and jumper, Hardin figured to break in on each of the specialty teams while easing into the rotation at the safety position where holdovers Wright, Conte, and Craig Steltz all return.
Versatility is one of the strengths to Hardin’s game and Bears head coach loves that trait in his safeties. “There are a lot of physical gifts to work with” said Bears Gm Phil Emery after the pick. The biggest knock on Hardin is his ability to stay healthy as he has struggle with injuries during his career at Corvallis, Oregon.
However, his former college teammate and Bears second round pick in 2011, Stephen Paea said on Twitter after the selection is, “he’s a beast.”
The Bears are hoping Paea is right in his assessment, otherwise the Bears will likely be drafting a safety for the ninth year in a row in 2013.
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Patrick is a diehard sports fan and former football player from Chicago, the greatest city in the world. The home of deep dish pizza, the greatest skyline in the world, and the best sports fans in America. Patrick has been a fan of the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks since birth and is an avid college football fan, particularly the SEC. Patrick is the host of “The Wake Up Call”, a weekly sports show on www.Sportstownchicago.com every Wednesday morning from 8-10. View his show’s website here. To read more of Patrick’s blogs click here.