Top 5 NFL Success Stories of the Modern Era

By Josh Brown

5. Arian Foster

Wild Card Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Houston Texans


Despite it still being relatively early in Foster’s career, he is already established as one of the NFL’s elite running backs. After somehow going undrafted, Arian foster averaged 100 yards per game in his first season as a starter with the Texans. His amazing ability has made the once laughable Texans a respectable football team. He currently ranks 7th on the all-time rushing yards per game list.

4. Wes Welker



Wes Welker is the epitome of a hardworking athlete. Despite not even getting an invite to the NFL combine, Welker eventually found himself on the Miami Dolphins, where he did whatever he could to help his team. In 2004, playing against his eventual teammates the New England Patriots, Welker returned both a punt and a kickoff, kicked an extra point and a field goal, and made a tackle all within a single game, becoming just the second player in NFL history to do so. The Patriots traded for him in 2006, where he quickly became one of the NFL’s best receivers.

3. Priest Holmes

2004 NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs

After suffering a devastating knee injury at the college level, Priest Holmes went undrafted. Eventually he signed with the Ravens, but would lose his job to a rookie in 2000. Holmes ended up signing a contract with the Kansas City Chief’s and quickly made a name for himself, becoming the NFL’s leading rusher in 2001. The next season he racked up over 2,000 total yards, and the following season broke none other than Marshall Faulk’s single-season touchdown record with 27 scores.

2. Antonio Gates


Antonio Gates is notable primarily because he spent his collegiate career trying to make a name for himself as a basketball star. After failing to find a spot in the NBA, however, he managed to arrange a workout in front of NFL scouts (despite the fact he had absolutely no college football experience). After impressing NFL scouts, he was contacted by the majority of NFL teams, signed by the Chargers, and eventually named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s.

1. Kurt Warner


When he went undrafted, Warner got a job bagging groceries at the local supermarket to pay the bills. However, after deciding to make a return to football by way of the AFL (Arena Football League) Warner quickly made a name for himself, racking up over 10,000 yards in just three seasons. Eventually, he would get the chance to start at the NFL level, and the rest is history.