Beavers safety Hardin taken in third round

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears took Oregon State safety Brandon Hardin and South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery with their two draft picks on Friday.

Hardin, who is 6-2 and 222 pounds, suffered a broken shoulder and missed the 2011 season. The Bears plan to put him at strong safety where he will compete with starter Major Wright.

"I feel like we're going to get a lot of mileage out of Brandon right from the get-go both in terms of working as our third or fourth safety and special teams," Emery said.

The Bears medical staff has given Hardin's shoulder a clean bill of health.

"I have no worries about this guy," said Chicago General Manager Phil Emery said. "He will come down in the box and strike people. He has a good medical grade, so we feel good about that."

The Bears traded up to get the chance to take the 6-foot-3, 212-pound Jeffery as a complement to wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who is 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. They gave the St. Louis Rams their second-round pick (50th overall) and fifth-rounder (150th) for the 45th overall pick in the second round. In Round 3, Hardin was acquired with the 79th pick.

"We feel that Alshon has the best hands in the draft, we feel that he's the best at adjusting to the ball, we feel that he's the best sideline and end zone catcher in the draft," said Emery. "He's dynamic with the ball in his hands. He's a big man, he's strong, he's tough. He doesn't go down without a fight."

Chicago went 8-8 last season. Quarterback Jay Cutler broke his right thumb trying to make a tackle in the 10th game and things unraveled from there.

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