You think of the guy that runs the ‘dirty routes'; across the middle, getting you seven yards when you needed six, getting open in the back right corner of the end zone when Drew Tate is scrambling, etc. Straight line speed is not something that comes to mind.
But when the dust cleared at the combine over the weekend, and some 37 receivers ran the 40, less than a third of the lot ran a sub 4.50. Hinkel was not among them, but he turned in a more than respectable 4.53 best time, with a 4.56 to back it up. He ran the fourth fastest time in the short shuttle and produced the best time in the long shuttle among the wide receivers that tested. Hinkel's long shuttle time was better than any of the running backs as well. Michigan's Jason Avant and Ohio State Santonio Holmes did not run.
World class moguls skier and former Colorado punt returner extraordinaire Jeremy Bloom went 4.53/4/52. Return specialist and slot receiver Skyler Green of LSU threw up a pair of 4.55's. Every time he was back to return a punt over the course of the last three years, announcers would talk about his dangerous, game-breaking speed. Turns out ole Easy Eddie Hinkel is just as fast, though probably not as shifty in that phase of the game.
Another ‘dangerous' WR/PR. Brandon Williams of Wisconsin, ran a pair of 4.52's.
Fellow Hawkeye teammates Clinton Solomon, a player that was viewed as Iowa's ‘deep threat' this year, ran a pair of 4.70's. I don't know if that is what Solomon normally runs the forty in, or if he will fare better in Iowa's Pro Day in March, but he had to be somewhat disappointed with those times.
However, Solomon just needs to worry about hanging on to the ball in drills at the combine, because he has that ‘get even and leave ‘em' speed when he has his pads on; we saw that at the Metrodome a year ago and at Purdue this year.
Again, I think you have to look at the routes that each player ran while at Iowa and take that into consideration when wondering how Hinkel's speed didn't seem to show up a lot on the field at Iowa. Perhaps if he was the player running the deep routes, something Solomon did, he might have had better numbers. Just look at his performance against Minnesota on Senior Day this year and you will recall him getting behind the defenders. He got behind the defender at Penn State several years ago for the first of his many acrobatic catches. He got behind the Iowa State defense in Kinnick Stadium in 2004 and scored on a diving touchdown. Whenever he needed to be, he was just fast enough and ran good enough routes to gain an advantage. Hopefully that, along with his production at Iowa and the recommendation he will receive from Kirk Ferentz will be enough to get drafted come April.
Hinke's times were better than what Kahlil Hill and Tim Dwight ran at their combine workouts, though Dwight was injured and still ran at the workout.
To view all of the wide receiver forty times, CLICK HERE.
The linebackers have not run their forty yard dashes yet, but they did go through the bench press test. Chad Greenway put up 16 reps of 225 pounds and measured in at 6'2 ½/242 pounds. Here are some other notes from his NFL Combine report, conducted by Scout.com:
-Says his style is similar to Brian Urlacher, although not at his level.
- Has talked with the Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals and the New York Giants.
-Hopes to run a sub 4.60 in the forty
-Would play outside in a 3-4 defense
Teammate Abdul Hodge did not go through the lift drills, but will do so during Iowa's pro day. He will run the forty later this week. He measured in at 6'0/236 pounds. He met with 12 teams Saturday night, but only confirmed that one of those teams was the Minnesota Vikings. Said he expected to meet with the Tennessee Titans as he had good interaction with their coaching staff during the Senior Bowl. Again, those notes from Scout.com who is covering the NFL Combine.
Ohio State LB AJ Hawk measured in at 6-1/248. He did 24 reps of 225 on the bench press.
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