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2015 NFL DRAFT
player photo

Brandon Hardin

| | College: Oregon State
 
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange
Overview

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."

Analysis

Positives: Possesses intriguing upside. Combines prototypical size, speed and explosiveness for the free safety position and could remain at cornerback in a press-man scheme. Excellent straight-line speed (officially recorded at 4.44, 4.43 at his March 16 Pro Day), as well as impressive explosiveness (10'4" broad jump, 35.5" vertical) and strength (24 reps). Physical. Provides a physical jolt to receivers and shows surprisingly loose hips and acceleration to turn and run with them. Aggressive, reliable open-field tackler with strong, active hands to rip at the ball. Forced three fumbles in 2010 … Reads run aggressively and attacks the action. Excellent special teams defender. Tied for the team-lead with 12 special teams tackles in 2010 and led the Beavers with 11 in 2009. Also blocked an extra point in 2010 against rival Oregon … Despite missing his entire senior season for Oregon State, returned to participate in the East-West Shrine Game and helped his cause with an impressive effort there.

Negatives: Struggled with durability over his career. Missed the entire 2011 season with a broken shoulder and played most of the 2008 season with a broken left hand and a sprained right wrist … Doesn't play up to his timed speed. Possesses good change-of-direction skills for a player of his size, but only above-average mobility overall. Vulnerable to quicker receivers and is a step slow to close. Too often allows the catch to occur before making the tackle. Largely unknown ball skills. Has just one career interception and seven passes broken up … Projects best as a free safety but all 38 career appearances (including 15 starts) came at cornerback …

Career Notes

Brandon's promising career at cornerback was cut short at Oregon State midway through fall camp 2011 by a broken shoulder requiring season-ending surgery … he was expected to start at cornerback for the Beavers in 2011 but still finished his career with 15 starts including all 12 games in 2010 … despite the injury, he was able to return to play in the East-West Shrine Game following his senior season … registered 63 tackles in 2010, the fourth-most on the team … tied for the team lead with 12 special teams tackles as a junior and led the team outright with 11 as a sophomore in 2009 … set career-high with 11 tackles in OSU's win over No. 20 USC in 2010 … blocked an extra point and forced a fumble on special teams all in the first quarter of the 2010 Civil War vs. Oregon … forced three fumbles in 2010 … played in a three-player rotation at cornerback in 2009 making three starts … recorded one interception in his career with it coming in his first start at Arizona State in 2009 … struggled with injuries throughout his career at OSU, playing most of 2008 with a broken hand and a sprained wrist on the other arm … two-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection … graduated with a degree in business administration in June.

2011 Season

Suffered a season-ending broken shoulder in fall camp and underwent surgery.

2010 Season

Stared all 12 games … 63 tackles for the season, the fourth-most on the team … co-led the team (Rashaad Reynolds) with 12 special team tackles … career-high 11 tackles in the win over No. 20 USC … blocked an extra point and forced a fumble all in the first quarter vs. Oregon … 15 tackles through the first two games … three forced fumbles for the season, second-highest on the team to Stephen Paea's four … Pac-10 All-Academic Second Team.

2009 Season

Brandon rotated into the game on a regular basis and played nearly as much as the starters … three starts … made first career interception and start in the same game at Arizona State … season-high six tackles at California … led the team with 11 special teams tackles … offseason surgery on his wrist … Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention.

2008 Season

Played a majority of the season with cast on his broken hand and a sprained wrist on the other arm … 13 tackles for the season, including three vs. California.

2007 Season

Redshirt.

Injury Report

2008: Played the majority of the season with a cast on his broken hand a sprained wrist on his other arm.

2001: Suffered a season-ending broken shoulder during fall camp that required surgery.

Agility Tests

Shrine Game: 4.36 and 4.40 seconds in 40 yards; bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times; 35 1/2 inch vertical leap and a 10-4 broad jump.

High School

KAMEHAMEHA: Two-year starter and three-year letterman playing for former OSU graduate assistant coach Kanani Souza … first team all-state as a senior and played in the Goodwill Game … second team all-state as a junior … three-year letterman in track as a jumper and sprinter … won five medals at the 2007 state tack meet, including gold in the 100 meters … won five medals in Saturday's track and field championships, including a gold in the 100-meter dash … helped the program win the 2005 state title in both football and track.

Personal

Born in Kealakekua, Hawaii … son of Kevin Hardin and Christine Young … has two siblings … member of the National Honor Society and was on the school's academic honor roll numerous times … selected for the Hawai'i High School Hall of Honor for his achievements in the classroom, and in football and track … chose OSU because "it's a big school with a small-town feeling; I feel that I can flourish on and off the football field" … undecided major.

 
Latest News
04/29/2012 - The Bears will play third-round pick Brandon Hardin at strong safety, which will necessitate a position switch from cornerback, but they believe his physical traits project well to the new spot. "It's concerning that we're moving him into a projection area," Emery said. "(But it's) not a concern because of his physical nature, his toughness. He will strike you. He's not afraid of contact. "Sometimes you worry a little bit about that with corners. They're kind of skill/finesse guys. What kind of tackler will they be if you move them to safety? I have no worry about this guy. He will come down in the box and strike people." - The Sports Xchange

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