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Kiwanuka's progress should be fun to watch

One of the more interesting things to watch unfold for the Giants this season will be to see how well Mathias Kiwanuka transitions from defensive end to linebacker.

To me, there is no reason to believe the 6-foot-5, 265-pound second-year pro out of Boston College, won't be successful.

It's not like this transition hasn't been done before. Check the roster of Hall of Fame linebackers and and you will find several who played defensive end collegiately. Among them are Bobby Bell, Ted Hendricks and the Giants own Harry Carson.

In today's game, the Dallas Cowboys have converted Greg Ellie and DeMarcus Ware from defensive end to linebacker, and are now trying to do the same with rookie anthony Spencer. LaMarr Woodley, a 2nd-round pick, is being converted to linebacker by Pittsburgh.

So, this position switch is more common than you may have thought.

Kiwanuka has the size, speed and agility to be a force at linebacker. The primary question is likely how committed he is to learning the new position, and so far he seems to be taking to it well.

Kiwanuka had this to say to Michael Eisen of

"It's different from being a defensive end, you have to know what everyone is doing, read the coverage, be aware, and you need speed when you have to cover a wide receiver who runs a 4.3, rather then just go after the Quarterback."

After mini-camp last month Giants coach Tom Coughlin seemed pleased with Kiwanuka's progress at linebacker.

"We are to the point now where he is a presence out there," Coughlin said. "Just look at the width of his arms and trying to get the ball over or around him. When he rushes, he is obviously a difficult guy to block and also he is a difficult guy to get the ball over when he is rushing."

Kiwanuka could become an absolute monster at linebacker. I'm looking forward to finding out.