Building a successful NFL franchise is about more than just the current season. The best teams are typically set up to stay among the elite for many years.
To project which NFL franchises are in the best shape for the next three seasons (2021 through 2023), we asked our panel of experts -- Jeremy Fowler, Louis Riddick, Seth Walder and Field Yates -- to rate each team's quarterback situation, remaining (non-QB) roster, drafting ability, front office and coaching using this scale:
100: A+ (Elite)
90: A (Great)
80: B (Very good)
70: C (Average)
60: D (Very bad)
50 and below: F (Disastrous)
After averaging the results from the panelists, each of the five categories was weighted to create the overall score: roster (30%), quarterback (20%), draft (15%), front office (15%) and coaching (20%). The result is a comprehensive ranking based on how well each team is positioned for the future. Our experts each wrote a blurb for all 32 teams, hitting on biggest worries, stats to know and what could change in upcoming years.
Read through the full rankings from Nos. 1 through 32, or jump to a team below:
Note: Overall scores are rounded to the nearest tenth of a point.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Overall score: 88.5
Why they're here: There's an easy case that no other quarterback in football is more preferable to have on your roster over the next three years than Patrick Mahomes, who is coupled with one of the league's best head coaches in Andy Reid. The Chiefs' outstanding front office led by GM Brett Veach is resourceful and willing to be bold when needed. This team is here to stay. -- Yates
Biggest worry: Veach has some big-time decisions regarding the salary cap over the next two years, beginning with the 2022 expiring contracts of safety Tyrann Mathieu, offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and defensive tackle Jarran Reed. All three play premium positions at what is expected to be a very high level going forward, and all will want top dollar for their services. When looking down the road to 2023, receivers Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman, along with safety Juan Thornhill, will be looking for their paydays as well. -- Riddick
What could change for the better: Kansas City's offensive line is set up for long-term success to keep Mahomes healthy. Free-agent addition Joe Thuney is one of the league's most consistent performers, and the Chiefs would like to extend Brown after the season. Plus, the team is high on recent draft picks Creed Humphrey and Lucas Niang. -- Fowler
Stat to know: Mahomes has the highest career QBR among qualifiers in the history of the metric. He is followed by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, respectively. With a 25-year-old quarterback that good, there's nowhere else the Chiefs could be in these rankings. -- Walder