It’s fitting that a season marred by murder charges against one of the Patriots’ top tight ends could be salvaged in part by an undrafted wideout who was arrested seven times before his 19th birthday.
Kenbrell Thompkins was signed before Aaron Hernandez’s arrest and possibly wouldn’t have been signed after it. The rookie has emerged as one of the best receivers on the roster. He started Thursday night’s preseason game against the Lions, catching eight passes for 116 yards.
The cousin of Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, Thompkins’ history was recently detailed by the Boston Herald. At age seven, he shot himself in the arm. In middle school, he was selling drugs. An arrest for armed robbery prompted one of multiple expulsions from high school. Later, Thompkins was busted for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and he served 28 days in jail.