As players take their final breaks before training camp, Redskins.com will look back at the new faces from this offseason and what we've learned about them, football and otherwise, so far.
Today we'll focus on offensive lineman Geron Christian Sr.
1. He is the newest draft class member of the Washington Redskins.
The Ocala, Fla., native was selected by Washington in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but didn't officially sign with the organization until June 14. He was the final rookie among the eight draft choices to have signed a contract, and is set up with an ideal situation in getting to learn from Trent Williams about how to be successful at the tackle position in today's NFL.
2. He's a valuable addition to one of the league's best offensive lines.
Like a majority of the Redskins 2018 draft class, the Louisville product serves as a player that is meant to fill a hole, which was noticeable last season. While he may not be an every day starter in his rookie season, his talent level makes him an excellent fill-in option if the Redskins' offensive line piles up injuries once again.
"We will keep him at the swing tackle," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden in April. "You know, what we went through at tackle last year was catastrophic with all the injuries and still a lot of these guys are recovering from their injuries. Trent is recovering still, Morgan [Moses] is still recovering, Ty [Nsekhe] is still recovering, we have T.J. [Clemmings] still recovering. So we need depth at tackle."
The "swing tackle" that Gruden refers to is Christian's ability to play multiple positions on the line, as he has experience in both the tackle, center and guard position. His talent can be used down the road so he can become one of the main staples of the Redskins' offense, just like Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff are now.
It's so important for an offense to have continuous depth at the tackle position because of its direct correlation to the play of a quarterback, which for Christian starts during training camp.
"To me, it's so much better to get an opportunity and go out on the field and actually practice than stand there with a helmet in your hand and watch, so you can make the mistakes, you can correct yourself," Gruden said. "It might be your set, it might be too vertical, whatever it might be, so everything has been a teaching point for him. Every play is something to learn from – running play, pass play, pass protection – and I think he's going to become better faster because of that because of these opportunities."
3. He's in the early stages of parenthood.
The rookie has a lot more on his plate than just adjusting to life as an NFL player.
At just 21 years old, Christian is a new father, after having a baby in the past year. He also told the voice of the Redskins, Larry Michael, that he is experiencing the Washington, D.C., area for the first time in his life. These adjustments for the Louisville product certainly don't receive as much public attention as his play on the field, but have a much greater importance.
Christian and his newest addition to his family got to spend some quality time together in Florida back in April before he was selected by the Redskins later that month.
4. Offensive Line Coach Bill Callahan likes his pass protection ability.
It's really not much of a surprise that Christian has been praised for giving Alex Smith and Colt McCoy plenty of time in the pocket in his first few months with the Redskins -- this is typically the primary role for a starting tackle, regardless of lining up on the right or left side.
The more important thing to note is that the rookie has been mostly practicing with the first team so far. While this is mainly due to Williams and the rest of the offensive line still recovering from injury, Callahan's trust in the Louisville product this early in the NFL calendar gives the rookie a great chance to have his name called more than his initial expectation.
Once the Redskins begin training camp, where Williams has stated he'll be in the best football shape of his career, it will be interesting to see where Callahan uses the No. 74-overall pick in practice.
"He's learning. He's got thrown into the fire and he's handled it really well," Callahan said during minicamp."It's a learning curve right now for a rookie, so he's got to make that progress in the next couple of weeks in the summer and carry it over into training camp. Hopefully we've got something there."
5. He's about as durable as they come.
For an offensive line that is looking to stay healthy this season, it's very encouraging to know that Christian started in all 39 games that he appeared in during his three seasons at Louisville.
In a high-flying offense headlined by 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, the 6-foot-5, 302-pound offensive lineman certainly wasn't taking a nice stroll every time the UL offense made its way onto the field. In addition, protecting a dynamic player like Jackson, who can break out of the pocket at any given time with his blistering speed, makes the task of slowing down defensive lineman even more challenging.
While he certainly isn't working with a quarterback that has the speed like the Baltimore Ravens first-round draft choice, Alex Smith has proven he can get out of the pocket well, as he rushed for just over 350 yards last season.
"This is all new to him," Callahan said. "The more reps he gets and the more looks that he can filter through, it's just going to benefit him better."
Check out photos of Louisville tackle Geron Christian, selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
6. He isn't the only person in his family to have NFL experience.
Christian is the second player in his family to be selected in the draft, as his brother Gerald was labeled as "Mr. Irrelevant" after being selected No. 256 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Gerald was a starting tight end for Louisville, as the program started to gain national attention around his junior season (the school went 12-1 and won the Russell Athletic Bowl), where the former four-star product caught 28 passes for 426 yards and scored four touchdowns.
7. He is ready to actually play football again.
After making a trip to the Taxslayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., against Mississippi State and going through the tolling draft process, Christian couldn't be more excited to arrive at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., for training camp. The current six-week break may sound like a nice benefit, but it's a challenging task for many players to remain in football shape as they must put in the work on their own time.
"Really just busy, same as before and just trying to train and spend time with family," Christian said after being selected by the Redskins.
"Been a long time, really. Now finally football type of training and stuff. But it feels real good to be back on the field."