Geron Christian is a name that might not stand out in the Washington Redskins’ draft class, among players such as Daron Payne and Derrius Guice. But in the future, Christian could provide just as much value.
When the Washington Redskins came on the clock in Round 3 on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, any pick would have been better than nothing.
Nothing is what the Washington Redskins were slated to get for much of the offseason. In the trade for veteran quarterback Alex Smith, the Washington Redskins gave up stout cornerback Kendall Fuller and their 2018 third-round pick. It was known that they would likely look to re-aquire a third-rounder, but the move back coinciding with that acquisition was almost guaranteed to come at the sacrifice of valuable players.
And so when the Washington Redskins traded back to No. 59, grabbed Derrius Guice, a first-round talent at running back, and got back a third-rounder in return, Washington Redskins fans were understandably elated.
And then with that third-round pick, the Washington Redskins picked Louisville’s Geron Christian. An offensive tackle. And confusion ensued.
On the surface, the Washington Redskins selection of an offensive tackle in Round 3 doesn’t quite make sense. The Washington Redskins already have two top-end starters in Trent Williams and Morgan Moses, the former of which is well on his way to a Hall of Fame career. In the wings waiting is 33-year old swing tackle Ty Nsekhe, who has proven time and time again that he can come in and provide quality play as a spot-starter.
So why did the Washington Redskins need a tackle this early? The answer, perhaps, is in the question.
Geron Chrisitan is a pick for the future. Trent Williams, as high a caliber player as he is, will soon turn 30 years old, and both he and Morgan Moses suffered from injuries in 2017. Ty Nsekhe, as previously mentioned, is 33 years old. He can only be counted on as the Washington Redskins’ swing tackle for a year or two more, and with as thin as the Redskins’ guard position is looking in 2018, Nsekhe may be given a look there instead, which would open up a role for Christian.
Additionally, when one factors in how weak the 2018 tackle class was, getting a player deemed worthy of an early-round grade, before those players were exhausted, was a good move by Washington. Geron Chrisitian was viewed as a prospect with a second-round grade in many circles, and the Redskins were able to snag him with the third-rounder they acquired to pick up Derrius Guice. That’s good value.
Paramount among Christian’s second-round traits is his athleticism. Christian moves well for his 6-foot-5, 300 size, and he has the length to compliment his nimbleness well. He also provides versatility, in the sense that he can play both tackle positions; this automatically gives him a run at Nsekhe’s job, and almost ensures that Christian will be serving that role a couple years down the road.
Christian’s athleticism, combined with his size, however, allows for intriguing potential while learning from Bill Callahan. For now, he provides valuable depth on the quarterback’s blindside, the most important position on the offensive line. The Washington Redskins, if impacted by injury, will no longer be forced to play T.J. Clemmings and watch him spin around as defenders run by him. Christian is a quality tackle, and if he can beef up a bit, and improve his play strength, he could be more than just a backup.
Even if it’s hard to see right now, Christian’s selection provided great value for the Washington Redskins, and that value could grow in the future. Christian has the potential to be a starter at the NFL level. And for the Washington Redskins, who have two aging tackles recovering from injury, Christian might realize that potential sooner, rather than later.