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Sink or Swim: 5 Players From the 2015 NFL Draft Facing a Career Crossroads

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota have had a roller coaster ride of a career so far, but Jonathan Joyce breaks down their careers.

Jameis Winston – QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – R1P1 

56 54 21-33 1,183 1,922 61.55% 14,628 88 58 12.37 

2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston came to a Bucs organization with the highest of expectations: turn around a dormant franchise coming of four-straight last place division finishes. Tampa Bay has not made the playoffs since 2007, and that trend looks to continue into the 2019-2020 campaign. His second contract will more than likely be somewhere other than Tampa Bay, unless new Head Coach Bruce Arians can unlock the potential that made Winston so good at Florida State.

Marcus Mariota – QB – Tennessee Titans – R1P2 

56 55 27-28 1,015 1,605 63.24 12,004 69 42 11.83 

As with Winston, Mariota entered the league as a Heisman Trophy winner (2014) which brought high expectations for the former Oregon Duck. Mariota has been plagued by numerous injuries and inconsistent play during his Titan career. The Titans have, arguably, surrounded their signal-caller with their strongest supporting cast entering 2019. With newly acquired veteran QB Ryan Tannehill poised to step in if needed, the pressure is on Mariota like never before. 

Vic Beasley – EDGE – Atlanta Falcons – R1P8 

GP GS Total Tackles TFL Sacks QBH FF FR INT PD 
62 45 114 28 29.5 34 10 

After leading the NFL in sacks, with 15.5, in 2016; it’s been all downhill for Vic Beasley. The Falcons EDGE rusher cannot seem to stem together consecutive productive seasons. Even with defensive guru Dan Quinn at the helm, Beasley may be on his way out of Atlanta before his contract is up. 

Arik Armstead – DT – San Francisco 49ers – R1P17 

GP GS Total Tackles TFL Sacks QBH FF FR INT PD 
46 27 98 13 9.0 29 

While Armstead enjoyed his finest season as a pro in 2018, the 49ers need to make sure they get that player instead of the one who played in a combined 14 games between 2016-2017. Armstead has shown flashes of utter-disruptive force from the interior with his 6’7” 292lb frame. If things go badly for the red and gold in 2019, don’t expect a potential new regime to favor expiring contracts. 

Bud Dupree – EDGE – Pittsburgh Steelers – R1P22 

GP GS Total Tackles TFL Sacks QBH FF FR INT PD 
54 39 132 30 20.0 33 

Bud Dupree has been quite the disappointment in the Steel City. Pittsburgh hoped to continue their rich tradition of pass-rushers by taking the former Kentucky Wildcat in the First Round. The production has just not been there. Averaging 4.0 sacks per season does not bode well for the talented, but inconsistent, pass rusher. 

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