So much can change on a week-to-week basis in the NFL, let alone over a span of three-plus years, but I am picking the New England Patriots as the dominant team in the AFC East from 2014 to 2016. There are several reasons why.
First off, well, they are the Patriots. They are an elite organization from ownership on down. Of course, I don’t know this for certain, but if Bill Belichick is still in charge of this team, I can’t see New England falling off the map. In the understatement of the century -- Belichick knows what he is doing.
Second is quarterback. I will certainly concede that Tom Brady of that era will not be the same as he is today. In fact, he might not even be playing football anymore. But I just don’t see a potentially dominant quarterback currently on the rosters of the other franchises in the AFC East. And the selection of Ryan Mallett could pay off big for New England during this future era we are discussing if he is brought along properly.
Lastly, outside of possibly the quarterback position, the Patriots are set up for the long haul better than any team in the division -- or maybe better than any team in the entire league. They have an extremely impressive very young core of talent at most positions. And no team stores away draft picks for a rainy day like New England.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com. Follow Matt Williamson on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL