Originally written on Midway Illustrated  |  Last updated 10/20/14
Continuing to examine the 2012 Chicago Bears draft picks and where they fit into plans we come to rookie safety Brandon Hardin. Hardin was the eighth safety drafted since Lovie Smith became the head coach.  He is proverbial big, fast and strong even more so than most safeties. The problem with Hardin is he played corner his entire career at Oregon State.  Hardin has never played safety, has never been an in the box defender who steps up to make tackles in the run game. This job is extremely important in the Bears one-gap down hill attacking style of defense.  Hardin has to be able to fill a gap, break down and make a tackle in the open field. He showed some ability in Corvalis to make tackles and play physical in run support, but at the NFL level as a safety that job is entirely different. Can Hardin step up and fill that role in the Bears' defense? Hardin is learning the free safety position behind Chris Conte, which likely means he won't start as a rookie, and why should he? There's a backlash against third year safety Major Wright because of his issues in coverage and his inability to stay healthy.  Wright however can defend the run despite the overall impression against him. Wright is remembered for two plays, and those plays have in turn defined his career, the blown coverage against the Saints, and the bad angle against LeSean McCoy on the touchdown. He will start at strong safety while Hardin will develop as a free safety until he can prove he can be an NFL level player. The thought here is Hardin need to learn and develop, specifically because he didn't play a single game of football in 2011.  Hardin missed the entire season with broken shoulder. So his purpose should be to learn not to come in and make an impact.  The true impact is in the future and if he happens to push for playing as a starter, all the better. What is becoming an even stronger possibility is seeing the Bears adding a veteran safety.  That safety who has been in the league for five or so years who can come in and help develop the younger players. The task before Hardin is tall, and to expect him to come in and start as a rookie and play at a high level without making a lot of mistakes is far too much pressure on him. Hardin was drafted in the third round as a project, he shouldn't project to make an immediate impact. 
At 6-foot-3 217-pounds with 4.38 40-yard dash speed Hardin's primary job with the Bears will be to match up with TEs, specifically Jermichael Finley.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

Bears News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.