It’s now been eight years since the Chicago Bears have refrained from taking a safety in the Draft.
Friday night, the team selected Oregon State safety Brandon Hardin in the third-round in the 2012 NFL Draft.
While Hardin played free safety and cornerback in college, he was ultimately projected at safety. GM Phil Emery said he will line up at strong safety, meaning he will compete with Major Wright for the starting role.
At just under 6’ 3”, 222 lbs. and having clocked a 4.44 40, he has a great combination of size and speed. He’s also a fantastic athlete. This is a Lovie Smith pick from the look.
He’s considered a heavy hitter with questionable tackling, at times, and plenty of football smarts.
He was projected by many as a fourth- or fifth-round pick, causing some to question why Emery reached to take him in the third. But as third- and fourth round picks go, there tends to be little disparity.
His biggest question marks have to do with experience. He only started one full season and missed his entire senior season with a broken shoulder, only appearing in the East-West Shrine Game.
Again, he’s a fantastic athlete and someone who I believe the Bears feel they can coach up and get some production out of at the next level.