Arian Foster announced his retirement early this week, closing the books on one of the most productive careers by an undrafted running back in modern NFL history. Among all players with a minimum of 1,000 touches since 2010, per NFL Research, Foster finished his career ranked first in yards from scrimmage per game (115.2) and in 100-yard rushing games (31), and he tied for the lead in touchdowns from scrimmage (65).
1) Michael Bennett, Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman: The famed Legion of Boom was already in place, but the Seahawks didn't start making Super Bowl appearances until they signed Bennett and Cliff Avril as bargain-basement pass rushers in 2013. Outside of the nonpareil J.J. Watt, Bennett has been pro football's most versatile defensive lineman over the past half-decade, toggling between end and tackle depending on the down and distance. If not for Malcolm Butler's game-ending interception in Super Bowl XLIX, he would have a Super Bowl MVP trophy on his mantle.
Over the past two weeks, it's easy to see why every NFL team wants its own version of Bennett as a tackle-end hybrid. Atlanta's three-touchdown outbreak in the third quarter of Week 6 coincided with Bennett's exit after he harassed Matt Ryan to the tune of five QB hits in just over two quarters. He was nearly as disruptive in last Sunday's 6-6 tie with Arizona, exposing Earl Watford and D.J. Humphries as liabilities on the right side of the Cardinals' offensive line. For all of the star power on Seattle's historically great defense, Bennett might just be the most valuable player of the bunch.
2) Lorenzo Alexander, Buffalo Bills pass rusher: Who ever heard of a breakout season for a 33-year-old pass rusher? The NFL's sack leader is one QB takedown away from becoming the oldest player ever to notch his first career 10-sack season. Alexander is on pace for 20 sacks and 80 tackles, a statistical feat matched only by Vikings Hall of Famer Chris Doleman in 1989. He's the first player since Jared Allen in 2011 to start the season with a seven-game sack streak. Per NFL Research, only six other teams have a duo with more than Alexander's 9.0 sacks.
Don't mistake Alexander as a one-dimensional pass rusher benefiting from coach Rex Ryan's scheme. After totaling five tackles -- including two for loss -- in Week 7, he now has more tackles than any of the top 20 sack leaders this season. In addition to the defensive prowess, he's also the rare four-down star, still excelling on special teams. Not bad for an undrafted player who entered the league as a 300-pound defensive tackle and spent time at offensive guard and tight end early in his peripatetic career.
3) Chris Harris, Denver Broncos cornerback: Although overshadowed by a ferocious pass rush, Denver's secondary was the league's stingiest last season. Aqib Talib might appear in more highlight reels, but Harris has been just as effective over the past three years, displaying the versatility to hang with top receivers both outside and in the slot. Barring an unexpected slip in play, the sixth-year veteran should earn his third consecutive Pro Bowl nod this season.
4) Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver: You don't see drafted players earning three NFL contracts by their sixth season in the league. Baldwin's four-year, $46 million offseason deal recognized his status as a team leader and unheralded star for a franchise in the middle of a dynastic run. A crafty route runner with strong run-after-the-catch ability and no fear in the middle of the field, Baldwin has emerged as Russell Wilson's go-to target in high-leverage situations. He was the most efficient receiver in the league last season, responsible for an NFL-best 139.9 passer rating on targeted passes.
5) Jerrell Freeman, Chicago Bears linebacker: A former CFL star with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Freeman became the first player from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to play in the NFL when he signed with the Colts as an immediate starter in 2012. After turning in a career year as Indianapolis' top defensive player in 2015, Freeman is repeating that success as the linchpin of Chicago's defense in his age-30 season.
6) Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker: It's a shame the league's dirtiest player can't stop himself from head-hunting before the whistle and mangling body parts after the whistle. Going back to the 1980s, when the more physical Steelers and Browns habitually bullied the Bengals, Cincinnati has needed a defensive tone-setter with Burfict's passion and backbone. Undrafted due in no small part to his 22 "flagrant" penalties in 37 games at Arizona State, the 26-year-old has emerged as one of the toughest linebackers and surest tacklers in the league.
7) Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins pass rusher: One of the most efficient per-snap pass rushers of the 21st century, the two-time CFL Defensive Player of the Year has racked up 73 sacks in 107 games since fleeing the BC Lions for Miami in 2009. Even in a situational pass-rushing role at age 34, Wake can still be a terror -- as evidenced by last week's performance, in which the Dolphins' front seven dominated Buffalo's previously stout offensive line. Wake notched 1.5 sacks, two QB hits and one tackle for loss in Miami's victory.
8) Malcolm Butler, New England Patriots cornerback: If Alexander has authored the most improbable success story on this list, Butler isn't far behind. After sealing the Lombardi Trophy with one of the most impactful plays in Super Bowl history as an undrafted rookie in Super Bowl XLIX, Butler went on to earn Pro Bowl recognition, filling the shoes of former Patriot Darrelle Revis in his second pro season. Despite a slow start, he's back on pace for another Pro Bowl appearance this year. Tasked with covering star Steelers receiver Antonio Brownin Week 7, Butler contributed an interception and three pass breakups in one of the finest cornerback performances this season.
10) Marquette King, Oakland Raiders punter: While the Packers and Colts are famous for legendary quarterback lineages, no organization tops the Raiders for punting supremacy. Oakland has enjoyed Hall of Famer Ray Guy, six-time first-team All Pro Shane Lechler and now King. The reigning AFC Special Teams Player of the Week not only averaged 54.6 yards per kick at Jacksonville, but he also looked like Colin Kaepernick long-striding down the sidelines on a lightning-fast 27-yard run to convert a first down after a bad snap.
SPECIAL MENTION:LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots; Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns; Cole Beasley, WR, Dallas Cowboys; Tyrell Williams, WR, San Diego Chargers; Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars; Jason Peters, OT, Philadelphia Eagles; Donald Penn, OT, Oakland Raiders; Ramon Foster, OG, Pittsburgh Steelers; Ryan Schraeder, OT, Atlanta Falcons; Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers; Damon Harrison, DT, New York Giants; Kerry Hyder, DE, Detroit Lions; Rodney McLeod, FS, Philadelphia Eagles; Tashaun Gipson, FS, Jacksonville Jaguars; Brent Grimes, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Johnny Hekker, P, Los Angeles Rams; Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens.