Bears sign rookie Brandon Hardin
S Brandon Hardin (Jerry Lai/USP)
S Brandon Hardin (Jerry Lai/USP)
Bear Report Publisher
Posted May 15, 2012

The Bears today signed third-round draft pick Brandon Hardin, who is transitioning from cornerback to safety this season. All six of Chicago’s 2012 selections are now under contract.

The Chicago Bears signed S Brandon Hardin to a four-year contract today and now have the entire 2012 Bears draft class under contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, yet it's reportedly worth $2.7 million.

The Bears selected Hardin in the third round (79th overall pick) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Oregon State. The 6-2, 222 pounder started 15 of 38 games played for the Beavers (2007-11), registering 105 tackles (73 solo), three TFLs, three forced fumbles, one interception and seven passes defended. He was a two-time Pac-10 all-academic selection but missed his entire senior season due to a shoulder injury.

Hardin played cornerback in college but is being moved to safety for the Bears.

S Brandon Hardin
Jerry Lai/US Presswire

“Mentally, [the position change] is a little difficult,” Hardin said during rookie mincamp this weekend. “Physically, though, I have all the physical aspects to be a good safety. Now it's just learning a new position, taking in the coaching, and learning the different schemes and coverages.”

This weekend, he spent most of his time at free safety, which was in contrast to GM Phil Emery’s statement during the draft.

“We’ll line him up at strong safety,” Emery said shortly after drafting Hardin. “I have no worry about this guy. He will come down in the box and strike people.”

Despite playing mostly the deep safety spot, Hardin showed good recognition in Chicago’s Cover 2 during minicamp, while also showing well on special teams.

“There’s a guy, Hardin. He really loves special teams,” said Dave Toub, Bears special teams coordinator. “He was a gunner on their punt team. Starting gunner. The first guy down the field on kickoffs; first guy down on punts. Made a lot of tackles. He jumps out to you on special teams. We’re not going to have to do a lot as far as changing his mindset to play special teams. He’s already there. We’re really happy to have him. Great speed, good size and he’s got a great attitude.”

Coaches this weekend touted Hardin’s toughness and willingness to learn, two crucial aspects in regard to his potential on this defense.

“In this system, the No. 1 thing the Bears pride themselves on is the toughness,” Hardin said. “I know, being a physical safety, whether it's coming down hitting, being in the box, making secure tackles, and takeaways. I'm definitely ready for that. Like I said, the mental aspect, there's going to be a learning curve there. But I do have to learn as fast as I can if I want to play.”

Follow me on Twitter: @BearReport

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

Related Stories
4 Beavs sign UFAC's; Hardin wins over Bears
 -by  Apr 30, 2012
BR Rookie Diary: Brandon Hardin
 -by  Jun 13, 2012
Finding a tight end stopper
 -by  Jul 1, 2012

Subscribe today and get a full year of Bear Report Magazine with an annual Total Access Pass.
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
S Brandon Hardin (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Chicago
Football > Kamehameha Secondary > Alumni
[View My HotList]