Buffalo Bills: Can Deonte Thompson become a consistent threat?

ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 14: Deonte Thompson
ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 14: Deonte Thompson /

Deonte Thompson stepped up for the Buffalo Bills, with an impressive performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, is it a one-off, or the start of something special for the mercurial wide receiver?

Sammy Watkins…traded. Anquan Boldin…retired. Charles Clay…injured. Entering Sunday’s clash with the Buccaneers, it’s fair to say the Buffalo Bills were lacking quality receiving options.

Yes, Jordan Matthews was back in the lineup. However, no one knew how effective he’d be, in his first action since breaking a thumb.

Fortunately for the Bills, they had an ace up their sleeve in Deonte Thompson, who was signed just five days earlier. By the end of the game, he had recorded a game-high 107 yards on four receptions, to help the home side win 30-27.

Thompson’s biggest moment came on the first play after the Buccaneers had taken a lead, with just over three minutes remaining in the game. Tyrod Taylor connected with him for a 44-yard catch and run, with another 15 yards added on for unnecessary roughness.

Just two play later, the Buffalo Bills regained the lead and held on for a crucial win, to move to 4-2 on the season. Putting the “deep” in deep threat, Thompson also had receptions of 27 and 23 yards on the day.

Understandably, this now leads to the question of if the 28-year-old can become a regular contributor to a Bills’ air game, which needs all the help it can get? In truth, it comes down to the age-old frustration of getting someone’s desire and work ethic to match their talent.

On paper, Thompson has all the tools to succeed, including superior speed and decent size. And yet he was undrafted out of college and has since struggled to make an impact in the NFL.

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So what’s the problem? Part of the issue comes down to Thompson’s play during his final year at college, with scouting reports referring to his numerous drops and overall inconsistency.

While there have been positive reviews about the Belle Glade, Florida native’s since entering the NFL, he still seems to be lacking in his overall effort. Consider that his performance on Sunday, marked just the second 100-yard receiving game of his professional career.

While a big part of Thompson’s future will come down to how he applies himself, you can’t underestimate how much the environment can help. In that respect, this is his second spell in Western New York – maybe he has finally found somewhere he can feel comfortable and wanted.

Ultimately, it’s going to be down to how much the former Baltimore Raven wants to leave a positive impact on the NFL. If he decides he’s ready to step up consistently, the Buffalo Bills will be the grateful beneficiaries; just don’t hold your breath.

Next: Time for the Bills' offense to step up

What are you predicting for Thompson moving forward? Do you expect him to be a regular contributor to the Buffalo Bills passing game, or was Sunday a one-off? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.