NFL fans always want to know what's going to happen next. Like, immediately.
Months of draft analysis led up to the big weekend, but afterwards, everyone wants to know who's coming to rookie minicamps. Rookie minicamps are over and everyone's thinking OTAs. Before OTAs have ended, people are making plans to attend training camp. During training camp, there's endless anticipation for that first preseason game, and long before the preseason's over, people are salivating for Week 1.
But we rarely take time to pull back, even to look at the medium-term future. What's happening in the NFL? How is the game we love changing? What trends and cycles are at work? How can our favorite teams get ahead of the curve?
On the field, there's the eternal cat-and-mouse game between offensive coordinators and defensive coordinators. Offenses are passing more and more, and defenses are responding by rushing the passer however they can. How will that play out over the next few years?
Moreover, what's following the game going to be like? What will the game look like on TV? What will the players and coaches look like—two years from now? Three years? Five? Ten?
The following are the next top trends in the NFL. You can see the seeds of them sprouting now, but they will be coming to fruition before you know it.