Sep 30, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka (94) during warmups prior to playing the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.The Eagles defeated The Giants 19-17. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Giants Roster Review: Linebackers

This is one area that the Giants seem to always be searching to improve in.  I am not sure it is as much a lack of talent, as it is a changing of the position in the NFL, and thoughts of how great this position has been in Giants history.  The days of Taylor, Banks, Reasons, Van Pelt, etc are gone, and the prototypical middle linebacker of the early NFL is extinct.

Dan Connor: 6’2″ 240lbs out of Penn State with 5 years experience.  A major upgrade and great free agent signing for the Giants.

Mark Herzlich: 6’4″ 245 now in his third season with the team and growing stronger and more valuable every day.

Mathias Kiwanuka: 6’5″ 265 entering his 8th year with the team.  He will no doubt be looked at as a hybrid player again this year with the departure of Osi.

Jake Muasau: 6’1″ 245 entering his second season with the team.  Jake played a bit in his rookie season and helps out on special teams.

Spencer Paysinger: 6’2″ 235 entering his 3rd year.  Spencer has taken the next step in his development.  He showed he can learn this position at this level and be trusted within his assignments.  He needs to show he can step in and take a spot this year in training camp.

Keith Rivers: Keith may still be the best move Jerry Reese ever made as a GM IF HE CAN STAY HEALTHY.  When he was on the field lasy season you could see why everyone thinks he can be a stud, but too many injuries have cost him playing time, and that needs to change.

Jacquian Williams: 6’2″ 224 and pure speed.  Williams will also need to stay healthy and show how versatile he can be.  He can rush the passer, and cover anyone on the field.  This is the guy that could make the difference in this group.

That’s it…just 7 guys on the current roster.  Look for Connor and Herzlich to fight for the job in the middle if Blackburn doesn’t return.  RIvers, Paysinger, and Williams can rotate at the outsides depending on formations, and Kiwanuka is the wild card.  This will not be a linebacker laden draft for the Giants, but they might find one or two in the early rounds they think can compete


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