Thompkins played 12 games for the Raiders and two for the New England Patriots in 2014 and finished with 262 receiving yards and zero touchdowns. The undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati is yet to establish himself as a consistent threat at the NFL level despite the speed that helped him run a 4.54 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Thompkins had one last chance to impress during Sunday’s preseason contest against the Arizona Cardinals but turned in a disappointing one catch for seven yards. Asher Mathews of TFDS Sports acknowledged the receiver’s poor play:
Asher Mathews @AsherMathews
Kenbrell Thompkins drops a fastball from Ponder. Thompkins has had a couple of catchable misses. Rough game for him.2015-8-31 02:40:06
The Raiders added some pass-catching weapons this offseason after a last-place finish in the AFC West, which did not help Thompkins’ chances at making the team.
Amari Cooper jumps out as the fourth overall pick from the 2015 NFL draft. He is fresh off a 2014 campaign at Alabama that saw him rack up 1,727 receiving yards and 16 touchdown catches as a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Oakland also added Michael Crabtree as a proven veteran alongside the young Cooper. Crabtree should take some pressure off the Alabama product with his ability to make catches over the middle and exploit single coverage.
Tight end Mychal Rivera (534 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2014) and receiver Andre Holmes (a team-high 693 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2014) provide depth outside the top two options. There simply wasn’t much room for Thompkins on the Oakland roster, especially after he failed to make much of an impact in preseason games.