Geron Christian is no roster lock despite Redskins lack of tackle depth

Redskins tackle Geron Christian needs to prove himself to a new coaching staff to make the roster.

It was known that Geron Christian was a raw player when the Washington Redskins selected him in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The idea was that the Louisville product would develop behind Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, and Ty Nsekhe during his rookie year before getting a chance to earn the swing tackle role during his second season.

Christian (6-6, 315) did serve as the swing in 2019. But he did little to earn that role. Nsekhe left in free agency. Williams held out and missed the entire season. And instead of giving Christian a chance to start at left tackle, the Redskins invested in a stopgap option, Donald Penn, to ensure that Christian wouldn’t have to see the field quite yet.

And just as well. Because so far during his two-year career, Christian hasn’t yet established shown enough to be a full-time starter. Nor has he shown much as a top backup either.

In 43 snaps as a rookie, Christian committed two penalties and allowed three pressures. Last year in 146 snaps, he committed one penalty, allowed one sack, and allowed six pressures. He showed off good athleticism as expected, but his technique and ability to deal with stronger players both qualified as problems.

Christian has a big opportunity in front of him for 2020. Because of the Redskins’ lacking tackle depth, there’s a chance that he could compete with Cornelius Lucas and Saahdiq Charles for playing time at left tackle. And if he can make the leap, perhaps he’ll finally emerge as the player the Redskins thought they were getting when they spent a third-round pick on him in 2018.

But at the same time, if Charles shows the ability to play on the outside and left tackle and Lucas locks down the swing tackle role he held in Chicago last season, Christian could find himself as the fourth tackle on the depth chart. The current coaching staff has no allegiance to him and with the front office under new management, they may be willing to part with Christian if he can’t win a top-three tackle role. Doing that would require seeing Timon Parris or Paul Adams step up as a fourth tackle, but that happening is not out of the question.

Christian should still be favored to make the roster. But this is his make or break year. He needs to prove that he can lock down a role in the tackle rotation. Whether that’s as a starter or a quality swing doesn’t matter. But even with little tackle talent on the roster, Christian shouldn’t be viewed as a lock. He simply hasn’t been consistent enough during his career so far to earn that status, especially after a regime change.

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Once NFL training camps open up, Christian’s progress will be closely monitored. If he progresses, he should find a role at least for the 2020 season. But if he doesn’t, don’t be surprised to see his name on the roster bubble.