Hinkel will join more former Hawkeyes in Indianapolis, including tight end Dallas Clark and safety Bob Sanders. Hinkel has a special bond with Sanders as they played high school football together in Erie, PA before becoming teammates at Iowa as well. He plans to begin working with the team no later than June 12th.
Hinkel told HawkeyeNation.com, our Iowa affiliate at Scout.com in early May that the Colts were one of four teams that expressed interest in him immediately following the draft as teams pursued undrafted free agents. At that point, he and his agent decided to accept the offer from the Baltimore Ravens.
"We looked at the other teams a little bit, but we were pretty sure Baltimore was the right place," he said. "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."
But that decision ended up going sour for Hinkel. He had suffered a broken arm during his senior year that likely cost him his opportunity to be selected in the draft. He missed three games, but then returned to finish the season, including an Outback Bowl appearance where he caught a pair of touchdown passes.
At the NFL Combine in February, Hinkel posted an impressive 4.5-second 40-yard dash and posted the top shuttle time amongst the receivers. His arm was checked carefully during the physical exams and he was asked to return to Indianapolis for another X-ray before the draft in late April.
The doctors evidently felt that the arm could use some more time to heal completely and provided that information to interested teams. But it appeared that message never made it to the coaching staff in Baltimore. And then, according to Hinkel, the team physician in Baltimore who examined him and the trainers didn't agree on the health of his arm once he arrived to take his physical.
"She (the doctor) seemed to think that it was OK from what I could tell," he told HawkeyeNation.com. "The trainers didn't see it the same way. They thought that it needed more time to heal."
The Ravens released Hinkel as a result of the failed physical, much to his surprise. But now, he has an opportunity to catch passes from Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
"I definitely couldn't ask for a better team," Hinkel said.