Later today we’ll be resuming our coverage of the Redskins’ need areas in the NFL draft. For fans, when a team is this close to adding some new players, and you’ve spent weeks reading about how great they all might become, it can be difficult to rein in those high hopes. For Washington, it’s a bit easier since the first pick is No. 34, but even some players who might be on the board then are drawing pretty high praise.

With the help of the good folks at, we can strip away the intangibles and look at a player’s size and speed, based on how he tested at the NFL Combine. Here are a few safeties the Redskins would be fortunate to have a shot at:

Anything in there stand out for you? Perhaps that the highest-ranked safeties in this class have similar measurables to Bacarri Rambo, who’s already on the Redskins’ roster, Tanard Jackson, who is more famous around these parts for not being on the Redskins roster, and a group of mostly undistinguished pros?

Offensive line is another area where the Redskins have a need, and there are enough strong prospects that Washington could nab one at No. 34. Here are some O-linemen we’ve seen linked to Washington:

Now, measurables certainly aren’t the end-all be-all of evaluating draft prospects. And as for comparables, it’s probably more useful to get a few NFL seasons in the books, and then look at what those project to for a career. (Ryan Kerrigan’s ‘similarity scores’ on Football Outsiders link him with Brian Orakpo, Peter Boulware, LaMarr Woodley, John Abraham, Clay Matthews, Terrell Suggs and DeMarcus Ware, for instance).

But if nothing else, seeing the draft prospects from past seasons that measure most closely to this season’s players is a stark reminder of how many other players came out of college looking like they might be somebody in the NFL. As you scan that list of mostly forgettable names, remind yourself that very few of the players you love on draft day will be players you love several years later. Drafting this year’s equivalent of Max Starks would be nice. Gosder Cherilus or Mike Pouncey you’d probably take. But there’s a pretty good chance the pick has a career like Scott Tercero.

Opening Kick engages regular readers with a morning conversation starter, quick observation or poll. Click here for previous installments.

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