Hinkel Bound for Baltimore

After failing to hear his name called in this weekend's NFL Draft, former Iowa wideout Ed Hinkel fieled calls from several teams interested in him as a free agent. The Erie, PA, native decided on the Baltimore Ravens. HN.com Senior Writer Rob Howe caught up with Ed on Monday and the popular Hawkeye talked about watching the draft, which teams were interested in his services - including one that called in the seventh round - why he chose the Ravens and more in this HN.com Premium Quotebook.

How long after the draft did you hear from Baltimore and when do you agree to the deal?

Ah, I heard from them about 15 or 20 minutes after the draft had ended.

Had you or your agent or both of you guys had prior contact with the Ravens so they were a team maybe on your radar?

I don't know that we had contact with them, but they were a team that we had targeted before the draft started along with a couple of other teams that might be a good fit for me.

What makes them a goof fit for you?

Um, I guess kind of the way that their depth chart is right now. They have a good group of receivers coming back, but there looks like there's room. The style that they play is kind of what I'm used to playing at Iowa.

The natural inclination is to wonder if Coach Ferentz helped you hook up with Baltimore being as it's his old stomping grounds. Was that the case?

Yeah, I didn't have any contact with Coach Ferentz before making the deal. I didn't talk to him about going there before the draft. I know he used to be there and maybe he can help me learn about the organization and what it's like there.

Have you talked to Coach Ferentz since you signed?

Yeah, I got a chance to talk to him (Sunday).

What did he say?

He was excited. He felt that it would be a good place for me. He told me a little bit about the city.

I'm sure Brian (Ferentz) knows a little bit about it, too.

Yeah, I've talked to him. The whole Ferentz family knows it. They offered some advice as far as what to do and where some of the hot spots are.

Did any other teams try to get in with you after the draft?

I talked to Kansas City, Indianapolis and San Francisco.

What was yesterday like for you?

It wasn't too bad. It was kind of boring watching pick after pick. I just hung out with my family. It was pretty crazy after the draft, about 15 or 20 minutes later, the phones started ringing. Then, we decided on Baltimore and all the rest of my family came down and we partied for a little while.

How quickly did you make a decision?

We looked at the other teams a little bit, but we were pretty sure Baltimore was the right place. We talked about it for a few minutes, but everybody wanted a decision pretty fast. We probably made a decision within five or 10 minutes.

I'm sure it was disappointing not to hear your name called during the draft. But having had a day to reflect on it, are you looking ahead with more determination to make the NFL?

Right now, I just want to play football again. Sure, it was disappointing, but nobody will remember that if I make the team. And that's really my focus. I want to go in there and do whatever I have to do to make the Ravens. Sure, it would have been nice to have been drafted. But that's over with now.

They tell you that you have to put up good numbers in these pre-draft workouts, which you did. Still, you were selected. Does that surprise you?

I guess I didn't look at it real surprised, especially after the first day when only eight receivers got drafted. I knew it was going to be tough on the second day to hear my name. I guess I was maybe a little bit disappointed. I thought I did some nice things at Iowa and plan to do whatever it takes to make the Ravens.

What will be the key to that? Have the Raven's coaches told you?

I haven't talked with the coaches at all. I'll probably do that in the next 24 to 48 hours. I don't really have an idea what they're looking for, but I feel like I can contribute in a lot of ways.

What will the next few weeks bring for you?

I think their camp is in about 2 weeks. I'm heading out to Buffalo soon to catch a flight back to Iowa. I'm going to train in Iowa City until I head to mini-camp.

Have you had a chance to talk to any of the other Iowa guys in your draft class?

Yeah, I talked to everybody but Abdul. I wasn't able to get a hold of him. I talked with Chad, Clint, Brian and Jovon. I also haven't heard from Antwan to see if he hooked up with anybody.

You guys were a pretty close class. Does it seem like everybody is pretty happy with their situations?

Yeah, I think everybody is pretty happy and feels they're going to a place where they can stick.

Was there any point at the end of the draft where a team or teams called to say they were interested?

Yeah, Kansas City called in the seventh round, their receivers coach. He said that they had just taken a receiver in the sixth round and weren't going to take another receiver but they were interested. We just felt like Baltimore was a better fit.

Baltimore isn't like driving up the street in Erie for some milk, but your parents have to be happy it's a little closer of a drive than Iowa was for them.

Yeah, what they were driving one way now is a round trip. Yeah, I think they and all my family were pretty happy for me. Once we finished things up, it was pretty fun last night.

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