Bucs Re-Sign ‘Explosive’ Playmaker

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady will have a couple of talented young wide receivers on the practice squad.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie wide receiver Deven Thompkins caught head coach Todd Bowles attention in training camp, and now, Thompkins will return to the team after being waived 24 hours earlier.

Tampa Bay waived talented rookie  Deven Thompkins along with fellow rookie wide receiver Kaylon Geiger amid the final roster cuts from 80 players to 53 on Tuesday, August 30. Both Thompkins and Geiger returned to the Bucs on Wednesday, August 30 on the practice squad.

Thompkins made a catch in every preseason game, and he led Bucs receivers in yards, 38, for the second game against the Tennessee Titans on August 20. That included a 34-yard catch. He also returned a kickoff for 17 yards against the Miami Dolphins on August 13, and he return four punts for 18 yards during the preseason.

Geiger posted four catches for 52 yards in his preseason debut on August 13. He also averaged 22.7 yards on three kick returns against the Colts, including a 26-yard return.

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Thompkins Won Over Bucs Early

An 5-foot-8 undrafted free agent from Utah State, Thompkins had 171 receptions, 2,519 yards, and 15 touchdowns in his college career. He also averaged 24.9 yards as a kick returner. His skillful play continued with the Bucs, impressing Bowles right off the bat at rookie minicamp in June.

“He’s quick, he’s fast, he’s explosive off of the ball, and he’s made some good catches,” Bowles said of Thompkins in a June 9 press conference. “I’ll be looking at him.”

Bowles and the Bucs staff saw a young receiver who could play “on the outside” but showed drive to play in other spots, too, per Pewter Report. Thompkins said he wanted “to learn the playbook in its depth” to do more on the field per Pewter Report.

Off the field, Thompkins has a wife and two young children — including one child who is living with Down Syndrome. Thompkins shared his story with ABC Action News’ Kyle Burger during training camp.

“He hasn’t been able to walk yet, and little development things, you know, speech. Other than that, he’s been great. He’s really been a blessing to have,” Thompkins said of his son, Messiah.

Thompkins returns to the Bucs practice squad took many lessons from star veteran receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin during training camp. Thompkins said on August 7 that he’s “not afraid to ask them questions” and learn from watching, too.

“I have a really good group of vets in front of me – I’m not afraid to ask them questions and they love to give me back game. That’s really all I’ve been doing – watching them and just asking questions.”

Geiger Impressed After Going Undrafted

Geiger, 5-foot-10, also didn’t get his name called in the NFL Draft, but he made an impression with the Bucs.

His college career started at Troy where he caught 141 passes for 1,625 yards and eight touchdowns before transferring to Texas Tech in 2021. He produced for the Red Raiders with 43 catches for 533 yards and a touchdown, plus 98 yards rushing on 12 carries. He also averaged 19 yards on five kick returns, around the same average he posted at Troy — 23.7 yards per return.

Bowles mentioned Geiger among the rookie receivers who “can play” and put out “good film to watch” in the Bucs’ preseason opener.

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