November 7, 2009; Berkeley, CA, USA; Oregon State Beavers cornerback Brandon Hardin (17) during the first quarter against the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium. Oregon State defeated California 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Brandon Hardin, Defensive Back, Oregon State 2012 NFL Draft Player Profile

Measurables

6’3″ 216 pounds

4.38 second 40 yard dash, 10’4″ broad jump, 35.5″ vertical jump, 24 bench press reps

**Coming off of shoulder injury (missed 2011 season)

Projected Round: 6th-7th

Scouting report:

Hardin is a really interesting prospect to me. He was supposed to be a starting cornerback for the Beavers going into the 2011 season, and according to reports, he was good enough that coaches felt he would contend for All-Pac 12 honors last year. Then, Hardin suffered a shoulder injury in fall camp that put him on the sideline for the rest of the season, and he didn’t play another down.

Obviously, this kid is a physical freak and has a ton of talent. NFL scouts think he is going to make a transition to the safety position, but another former Oregon State player named Brandon Browner (Seahawks) is a starting cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, and a pretty good one at that. He stands at 6’4″ 221 pounds.

The NFL hasn’t really seen this breed of defensive back  all that much. Receivers are certainly making the transition to being bigger, faster, and a lot stronger than cornerbacks, so it’s rare that NFL teams find a guy with size, speed, quickness, and good hips, but who knows: Hardin might be one of those gems.

This is a guy I will certainly be keeping my eye on come draft day. He’s got a ton of potential and athletic ability, so if he gets with the right coaching staff, he could be a very nice late-round addition for a team seeking a sleeper in the secondary.

Pros:….really good on special teams…size and athletic ability…a good open field tackler…good instincts…has a good feel for zone coverage…

Cons: a projection at safety, a little stiff in the hips for a cornerback….despite his size isn’t terrific in his technique for a press corner…

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