NFL Teams with the Brightest Futures

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NFL Teams with the Brightest Futures
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Can Colin Kaepernick lead the San Francisco 49ers to a third straight NFC West title in 2013?

Best guess, please. In a league where getting to the playoffs on a consistent basis isn’t to be taken for granted, how do you really forecast which of the 32 teams in the National Football League have the brightest futures?

Now, do we expect teams like the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots to remain contenders over the next few seasons? There’s no reason to think otherwise, especially if both teams' defense-heavy 2012 draft classes emerge in a big way.

How about the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, who have been to the playoffs a league-high five times in the last five seasons? What does the future hold for a team that will be without legendary linebacker Ray Lewis and with other possible changes as well?

The following 10 choices are probably on the obvious side, given the 2012 postseason and the influx of young talent, most notably at the quarterback position. That was one factor to consider when making our choices, as well as some fresh faces in terms of coaching and the anticipation that the people supplying talent to these clubs will come up big over the next few months.

Still, it may appear that we went out on bit of a limb in regard to a few other clubs—and we are putting a lot of our stock in one division in particular.

Finally, the teams are listed in alphabetical order because we’re not playing favorites here.

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