Todd Bowles Lets Deven Thompkins Know He’s Watching Him

June 11th, 2022

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Underwear football is such a tease. Especially when it comes to receivers.

Underwear football, which Joe painfully explains is sort of a pain because it is not football and is often misleading, can even be deceiving.

Years ago a wide receiver the Bucs signed who had spent time with Baltimore, Tommy Streeter, looked like a sure thing in underwear football. And then of course there was 2014 Bucs draft pick Kenny Bell. He looked like a Pro Bowler in underwear football.

For many of the longshots at receiver, when the pads come on and defenders are allowed to jam them and play tight coverage, it’s a whole new ballgame.

With the Bucs down Chris Godwin and Russell Gage for who knows how long, once again it seems the Bucs are going to lean on their backup receivers.

Last year Joe thought the Bucs had a very deep stable of receivers. By the time the playoff game against the Rams was over, the Bucs had Jaelon Darden and John Brown on the field.

Now Deven Thompkins, an undrafted free agent wide receiver out of Utah State, who is from Fort Myers, is one of the backups Joe refers to as the New Smurfs. Outside of Breshad Perriman and Tyler Johnson, Bucs backup receivers are little guys. Thompkins is 5-8.

Joe noticed Thompkins was targeted a fair amount this spring, and that he’s made plays. While Bucs coach Todd Bowles noted no receiver will improve his stock until the pads go on, he’s seen something in Thompkins to be intrigued.

“I would love to see what Thompkins does in training camp,” Bowles said. “He’s quick, he’s fast, he’s explosive off of the ball, and he’s made some good catches.

“So, we want to see how he continues to learn and how he does in training camp and preseason. I’ll be looking at him.”

It’s one thing for a receiver to shine in underwear football — flag football without the flags.

Given that Thompkins is such a little guy, Joe wonders real physical play of training camp will throw Thompkins off his game?

17 Responses to “Todd Bowles Lets Deven Thompkins Know He’s Watching Him”

  1. Dooley Says:

    Very explosive, and as soon as I found out he was a FL native it kind of made more sense why his play style is bigger than his stature. We’ll see how he fares once contact is in play, but there’s also the slight chance he doubles down on what he showed in OTAs and propels himself towards a roster spot. Ideally, I’d want to for sure stash him on the practice squad, which would make more sense, BUT he could also push Darden for return duties with that 4.35 speed and his quickness.

  2. Bucbull74 Says:

    Haven’t we done this before with Demps and Robert Herron?

  3. Stanglassman Says:

    We were hearing the same about #9 Jerreth Sterns 5’ 9” out of Western Ky. I believe he’s missed the last few practices because of a minor soft tissue injury. We should keep our eyes on that guy too.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    No….actually Todd Bowles let Scotty, Darden, Grayson, Johnson & even Perriman know that he’s watching them!!!

    Any attention to another receiver leaves room for doubt about the remaining…..I think I can safely say we are NOT going to keep 9 WRs.

  5. Joe Says:

    Haven’t we done this before with Demps and Robert Herron?

    Not Joe. He was never on their bandwagon.

  6. PSL Bob Says:

    I have a feeling Perriman is going to be one of Brady’s go-to guys while Godwin (and Gage?) is out. Remember, he was a 1st round draft pick and played outstanding llate in 2019 when both Evans and Godwin were injured. Also I re-watched In The Current on the Bucs website, and was reminded that Perriman made a couple of clutch plays down the stretch last year. So if he and Brady can develop some chemistry in training camp, I think we’re going to be fine.

  7. Allbuccedup Says:

    Thompkins needs to spend dinnertime with Vea and Hicks they could show him how to put on some weight.

  8. John Sinclear Says:

    From Ft. Myers? Wonder why the Ft. Myers Snooze-Press never writes about him? Oh, right, he’s with the Buc’s. Now I understand!

  9. Infomeplease Says:

    We heard similar raves about Darden!!! Hope this guy performs way better than him! Go Buc’s!!

  10. Buczilla Says:

    I wish this kid the best, but he went undrafted for a reason. I’m more worried about our receiver situation than our iffy situation at corner. Please Mr. Licht, remedy this feeling of dread that’s starting to permeate my bones dude.

  11. steele Says:

    Brady needs his Edelman. And his Gronk. Come July, he better have both.

  12. BillyBucco Says:

    Darden will be better this year.
    And you can’t say he went undrafted for a reason because
    1 we already know he is small but so is Tyreek Hill.
    2 AB went undrafted for the same reason but it didn’t matter.

    These guys are ballers and 1 will hit.

  13. Sucatkane Says:

    Thomkins played for my home team he was very explosive I love the kid I watched him at every game

  14. SB~LV Says:

    That spot, Scotty’s, and maybe the one above on the depth chart is wide open!
    To have a special speedster that can return and catch and have a few plays designed for him , is wide open and something that has always been missing

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Receivers need to be told early & often … ‘You have ONE purpose on this team: Catch the damned ball’.

  16. cmurda Says:

    Did I read that right? I thought Gage was healthy?

  17. Eddie Marz Says:

    We have lots of receivers, just have too keep them on the field. GOBUCS!