NFL Draft Diary: Ed Hinkel 2-22

Iowa Wide Receiver Ed Hinkel leaves for Indianapolis on Thursday for the important NFL Draft Combine. Ed also has agreed to work with HN.com on a draft diary that will periodically appear on our site leading up to the big day in April. In our first installment, Ed talks about his trip to Hawaii for the Hula Bowl, an upcoming surgery, where he thinks he might get drafted, some questions asked of him in Hawaii by pro scouts and much more.

Can you talk about your experience in Hawaii; what that was like?

It was fun being down there, just getting to meet all of the guys and things like that. The football wasn't the greatest if you watched the game.

How long were you there for?

We were there for a week.

How many practice days did you get in?

Three practices. Our team didn't take advantage of the walk-through on the Friday that we could have had.

Did you get to meet Hayden? Did he coach?

No. He wasn't down there. We had Tyrone Willingham.

What type of system did you run?

It's tough with only three days. It just seemed like the stuff we were running was tough to run in a short time.

Who was the quarterback on your team?

Brad Smith from Missouri and Barrett Nealy from Texas State. We also had Cody Hodges from Texas Tech on our team. He hurt his knee in their bowl game so he didn't end up playing. It would have been nice to have him because all he does is throw.

How many pro scouts were there?

Yeah, there were probably three quarters of the teams had at least one scout down there. I talked to a couple of different teams.

What teams were they?

There were a couple. I can't recall exactly who it was.

What were the conversations like?

They wanted to know about your family. Have you ever been in trouble? It was basic conversation like a first-time meeting with somebody; just wanted to get to know you a little better. It was nothing to in depth.

Did you go through the weighing-in, measuring-in process?

The second day after we got there, we went through all of the height and weight measurements. We did some psychological testing. There were a couple of weird questions.

What, like did you ever feel like killing someone?

Yeah, there are questions like that. I mean, have you ever felt like hitting somebody? That question was on everything. Have you ever hit your girlfriend? There are definitely some goofy questions.

What about your injury? (Ed broke a metal plate in the wrist that he broke against Purdue. He will be having surgery to repair the plate on March 1st and only will miss about two weeks of being able to catch balls.)

When I was down there talking to teams, (his wrist) was feeling pretty good. I wasn't having any problems with it. They weren't too concerned with it. They know that I had played with it and it didn't really cause me any problems. Now, with me having to have surgery again, they'll probably ask a lot more questions this week (at the combine) about it. I'm just going to be honest with them and tell them what's going on. They'll probably bring me back (to doctors in Indianapolis) for a re-check a couple of weeks before the draft. At that time, I should be almost two months out. So, I should be fine by then.

How are you approaching the NFL Dream, the preparation for the draft?

I'm going at it. I'm going to work hard and do whatever I can to help a team. I'm going to do whatever I can to get into the league. I'm going to do whatever a team asks me to do to help me make that team.

You seem to have this whole thing in perspective. If you were to not make it, you seem like you'll be all right. Is that accurate?

Yeah, I guess I'm not looking at it as it's the only think that I have. It's not like if I don't make it it's the end of my life. I have a degree I can fall back on. But I definitely want to make it somewhere. I've always wanted to play at the highest level. Hopefully I'll be able to do that.

I know it's early in the process, but do you have a feel of where you might be selected in the draft?

Not really, at this point. Probably somewhere on the second day, you know, later in the second day. But a lot of things can change. After the combine, I could drop way down or go way up. We'll know a lot more after this weekend.

I know Coach Doyle prepares you guys for what you'll face down in Indianapolis. What do you think you need to show these guys or what questions do they have about you at this point?

Probably the thing that everyone is questioning with me right now is speed. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised at the times that I run. Hopefully I can run well and surprise everybody with the times.

What are realistic times for you?

I think somewhere in the 4.4s or low 4.5s is very doable for me. Last year, I ran a 4.48 for the pro scouts when they came in on our junior pro day. Hopefully I can run that or improve it this coming weekend.

Is speed overrated at your position?

I don't think that it's overrated. It obviously helps to be fast. But there are other things that are more important. There are a lot of guys out there that can run pretty fast but can't catch the ball.


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