Just one Beaver, Brandon Hardin, hears name during NFL Draft
Hardin goes 79th overall to Chicago, while four other Beavers sign free agent deals
Published: Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 20:07
It isn’t quite like the days of old when Oregon State churned out NFL Draft prospects who would be routinely selected in the first couple rounds.
Only one OSU player was picked in this past weekend’s NFL Draft. Beaver cornerback Brandon Hardin was selected in the third round of the draft by the Chicago Bears, who took him with the 79th overall pick.
The funniest part about Hardin being the only Beaver selected in the draft? He didn’t even play for OSU in 2011. Hardin suffered a shoulder injury in fall camp and had to have season-ending surgery on it before the season even began.
“I’m really excited,” OSU head coach Mike Riley said Saturday about Hardin being drafted. “That’s just kind of an indication of our year. We get guys drafted in the third round who didn’t even play a down for us.”
Riley wasn’t surprised by Hardin’s third-round selection, which many thought was pretty high given he hasn’t played a game since 2010.
“Brandon is a really good football player, but they draft on testable qualities,” Riley said. “You talk about a big guy, who is strong. He’s going to lift well, he’s going to run fast, those are really easy.”
Hardin will move over to safety for the Bears and joins another former Beaver, Stephen Paea, who was a second-round pick by Chicago a year ago.
The Bears must really put high stock into Oregon State’s defense, as Hardin is the fourth OSU defensive player selected by the Bears since 2008. Safety Al Afalava and linebacker Joey Larocque were the other two former Beavers picked by the Bears in recent years.
James and Jacquizz Rodgers played together in high school, in college at OSU, and now will have a chance to be teammates once more in the pros.
Though James Rodgers went undrafted this weekend, it was learned soon after the draft ended that he would be joining his brother as an Atlanta Falcon.
It’ll be a much tougher road for James to make the team than it was for Jacquizz, as he is only one of 21 other undrafted free agents signed by the Falcons.
James’ versatility will go a long way, however, as his standout ability as a kick and punt returner— as well as the many different ocassions OSU used him as a receiver— will be a positive as he tries to make the team and join his brother in Atlanta.
James Rodgers finished his Oregon State career as the all-time leader in receptions (222) and all-purpose yards (6,377).
There were three other Oregon State players who signed free agent contracts after the draft concluded.
Linebacker Cameron Collins signed with the Miami Dolphins. Collins played both safety and linebacker during his tenure as a Beaver. Collins was All-Academic First Team in the Pac-10/12 in each of his four years at OSU.
Offensive tackle Mike Remmers signed with the Denver Broncos. Originally a walk-on, Remmers started 44 games for the Beavers over his four years at Oregon State, which is the sixth most all-time at OSU.
Punter Johnny Hekker signed with the St. Louis Rams.
Warner Strausbaugh, sports writer