To continue our series, today we’ll look at WR Deonte Thompson, the veteran deep threat who finally got an opportunity to start and took advantage of it. Should he stay or should he go?
After a slow start to the season with the Bears, Thompson was released and joined the Bills in week 7. Since his arrival, Thompson had 27 receptions on 51 targets, amassing 430 yards and one TD. He became a go-to target of Tyrod Taylor, especially on deep balls. Their chemistry from their shared Ravens scout team days was still there, and Thompson was a guy Tyrod trusted. He also was a clearly an upgrade over any potential deep threat the Bills had on the roster. In all, he finished the season with 7 catches on his 7 catchable targets for throws 20 yards or more. Those receptions totaled 233 yards, a TD, and a good 43.8 catch rate, per Pro Football Focus.
Despite being a spark for the Bills passing game, Thompson’s production wasn’t exactly stellar by any means, and Bills QBs had only a 65.9 QB rating when throwing at him. Though the case could be made that Thompson only looked solid because he was in a group of underperforming WRs, he had 1.48 yards per route run, another decent stat that shows his reliability, even if not enough to make him a good starting option at the position.
In my opinion, Deonte Thompson is a good WR to have on the roster, but obviously not one to be counted as the number one or two guy, like he was in 2017. He can stretch the field, has reliable hands, and can be counted on in the return game. At the right price, I’m perfectly fine bringing him back to be the 4th guy on the depth chart, but in this case he obviously will want to test the market first and see if he can find a better situation elsewhere. Thompson showed he could produce not only with Taylor, but with Peterman and even Webb. I believe he can be a good option and produce to a greater extent with the better QB play we’re all hoping for this season.