Ed Hinkel, WR
Numbers: 6003/191 pounds/4.53 forty-time
2005 stats: 40-518-7 receiving, 1-20-1 rushing, 10-91-0 punt returns
The player: Many Colts fans are familiar with Hinkel from his exploits with the Hawkeyes and are no doubt pleased that he's now with the team. Despite a bit of a down senior season (he caught 63-744-7, ran back punts 22-260-0 and kicks 5-93-0 as a junior), he's well known throughout the Midwest as a reliable, but exciting offensive mainstay and return team threat. Hinkel's production dip was partly due to the fact that he had surgery to repair two fractures in his right arm in October, forcing him to the sidelines for three games. But if you look closely at the tape, you'll see why Hinkel wasn't drafted. Although he tests well, he doesn't have great football speed. He doesn't consistently use his size (big by college standards, average in the NFL) and can have trouble getting off the line. On the flip side, he's a smart and disciplined player who has natural running and escape skills. His hands are excellent and he'll fight for the ball like few others. If you watch the tape, you'll see what made Hinkel a success. On fly, post, hook and other largely straight routes, he looks absolutely ordinary. But on slant, drag and other routes that involve Hinkel using his cuts rather than speed or agility for separation, he looks like he's headed for Canton. And if you watch him in the return game, you'll see why he's more often referred to as "reliable" than "special."
How he fits: Every year the Colts bring in a whole bunch of receivers, some of whom are also returns specialist candidates. More often than not, the guy who stands out isn't always who you expect it to be. While many observers are already writing in names like "Moorehead," "Sheldon" and "Standeford" high on their preseason depth charts, it should be kept in mind that surprises happen every year and this is often the spot where new faces show up. Hinkel won't remind anyone of Randy Moss on the outside, but he could easily find a spot in the slot, mystifying outside linebackers and dragging safeties behind him.
Reminds me of: Jerricho Cotchery, Jets
Jerry's Take On .... Ed Hinkel
Ed Hinkel, WR