Ed Hinkel NFL Draft Diary: 4/5

Ed Hinkel lifted his NFL Draft stock with some impressive workouts the last few months. HN.com caught up with the former Iowa wideout to discuss his rise. Read about how Ed thinks he improved his status, what he shares in common with Tim Dwight, the state of his arm after March 1 surgery, a trip back to Indy this weekend, and more in this HN.com Draft Diary with Ed Hinkel.

In general, how do you think you've done for yourself in these postseason/pre-draft workouts?

Everything went pretty well. I was happy with my times, my position drills and things like that. For the most part, things went pretty well.

Specifically, how did you feel things went at the combine?

It went really well. I got a chance to talk to most of the teams' position coaches, you know, the receiver coaches and special teams coaches. The interview process went really well. It definitely was a fun experience being down there and being a part of the whole thing.

Are you finding that teams are interested in your punt returning ability?

Yeah, I think it's probably something that's going to help me a little bit. I was able to do that. If a team that is looking for a guy that can be a backup receiver and also return punts, can cover punts and kicks, and things like that, it's definitely something that's going to help me.

How did your surgery go and how are you doing now?

The surgery went really well. I was healed up in a little less than three weeks. I was pretty much back to 100 percent. It feels a ton better than it did before the surgery. Right now, it's feeling really good. I haven't had any problems with it. I'm catching balls with it lately.

How much have teams asked about the arm and are you going to go back to Indy to get it looked at by NFL team doctors?

Actually, I'm leaving for Indianapolis on Friday to go back for what they call a retest. Anybody who had some kind of medical problem or just needed a couple of more weeks to heal, they want to get in and check it out before they go into their draft meetings. I go back on Friday and Saturday. Everything will be fine. I'll pass all the physical stuff and be good to go from there.

What will that entail?

On Friday night when we get there, they'll take us right over the hospital and we'll get X-rays taken. Saturday morning, we'll meet with team doctors, trainers and physicians and everybody. They'll have about six rooms set up with five or six teams in each room. They'll come over and look at you. It's basically the same thing that they did at the combine. It's just that probably the only thing they'll be looking at this time is my arm.

Did you get what you wanted to get out of Iowa's Pro Day?

Yeah I did. I definitely wanted to do my vertical jump again. I knew that I could do better than what I did at the combine. At the combine, the vertical was one of the last things that we did. Everyone was kind of tired and beat and wanted to go to bed. I did the vertical jump and the broad jump again. I improved on both of those. I think coming out and catching balls three weeks after my surgery showed the guys that I'm a tough kid that's going to go out there and just want to play.

What was your vertical at Indy and what did you do at Iowa?

It was 34 at the combine. I went 36 here. I don't know how much it affects things. I just wanted to improve on it.

At the end of February, you felt like you probably were a second-day pick. Do you still feel that way?

I'd say it's probably the same. I don't know how much I improved or anything like that. I guess I still don't know at this point. For me, I'm probably not going to know until draft day.

Are there a few teams that might be showing more interest than the others right now?

Not really. My agent has talked to me about some teams that kind of need a guy that can be a punt returner and a backup receiver. I know there are teams out there. I have the same agent as Tim Dwight. Tim was just out on the market. He thinks we're kind of similar players, you know, returners and receivers. There was a lot of interest in him so he figures it will be a lot of the same teams that will be interested in me.

Does it matter to you of you're a third round pick or a fifth round pick?

No. I just want to get a chance. Obviously, there's a little bit of a difference. I want to be as high as I can. But as far as where I get drafted, I mean, I don't really care.

It seems like people are down on this draft in terms of receivers. How do you view that?

Yeah, I don't think there are just a ton of guys that are really standing out. Obviously, there are a couple. But I think it's basically going to come down to what a team needs, what kind of player they're looking for. There are a good variety of guys in the class.

What is your schedule like for the rest of the month leading up to the draft?

After I get back from Indy, we're going to start up again on a four-week program until we go to mini-camps. We're getting into more football related stuff and away from our speed phase. We're getting more into our conditioning.

Do you feel rejuvenated now from where you were at the end of the season?

Yeah. Definitely. After a long season, going to the Hula Bowl, going through training for the combine and pro day, we're finally getting a chance to relax here. We trained Monday and Tuesday, Coach Doyle gave us the rest of the week off. We're going to start up Monday really hitting it hard.

Are you getting nervous at all?

Not really. At this point, there's not much I can do to improve my status at all. It's just kind of hard sitting and waiting. I wish the draft was this weekend to get it over with and know where we're going to be.

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