When talking about gradual rises to stardom, no other name comes to mind more than Arian Foster. The now-former Texans running back went from being a disappointing senior at the University of Tennessee to the No. 1 guy in Houston just two years later.
Breaking out during his junior campaign in 2007 for nearly 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns, Foster was considered a potential second or third-round pick. His senior season brought him about four steps back, though, and he finished with under 900 yards as NFL scouts everywhere were disappointed.
Foster wasn’t a freak athlete, didn’t blow anyone away with his numbers or intangibles and his blocking was subpar, at best. He went from being an early round guy to undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft and he then signed with the Texans’ practice squad.
The undrafted rookie played in six games during his first season, rushing for 257 yards and three scores, showing flashes of No. 1 ability. He then earned the starting job in 2010 and went on to earn his first of four Pro Bowl berths by rushing for over 1,600 yards.
A nagging hamstring injury forced Foster to miss three games in 2011, but that seemed harmless to the Texans’ organization, coaches and fans. It was just the beginning of a string of serious injuries.
After played the entire 2012 season with no issues, Foster came back in 2013 and missed eight games with a back injury. He missed three more games in 2014 and then in 2015 he really frustrated the organization by rupturing his Achilles and playing just four games.
Foster now finds himself looking for a new home. This is a guy who desperately needs a do-over for the past three years of his career.
Next: 3. Reggie Bush