To project which NFL franchises are in the best shape for the next three seasons, we asked our panel of experts -- John Clayton, Louis Riddick and Mike Sando -- to rate each team on a scale of 0-100 in five categories: roster (excluding quarterback), quarterback, draft, front office and coaching.
After averaging the results from the panelists, each of the five categories was weighted to create the overall score -- roster (30 percent), quarterback (20 percent), draft (15 percent), front office (15 percent) and coaching (20 percent). The result is a comprehensive rankings based on how well each team is positioned for the future.
We had a change at the top this year, along with having a perennial Super Bowl contender fall all the way to No. 14 and another team jump from 28th to sixth. Read through the full file 1-32, or jump to your favorite team using the quick links below.
2014 record: 12-4 (Lost in NFC championship)
NFC North future rank: 1st
Overall score: 91.3
The bar graphs reflect the average rating given by the voters for each category. Category averages are weighted by importance to generate overall score.
The overview: The Packers moved up one spot from a year ago, overtaking Seattle. What was the key? Green Bay's drafting improved from 11th to first, while holding on to the top spots in the quarterback and front office categories. Immediate contributions from the 2014 draft class helped the Packers' standing. Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, receiver Davante Adams, center Corey Linsley and tight end Richard Rodgers were all key rookie contributors as Green Bay reached the NFC Championship Game. That is tremendous immediate impact for a team that was already a contender. --Mike Sando
The dilemma: The Packers are incredibly well positioned over at least the next two seasons in terms of having most of their core players under contract on both offense and defense. The lone exception is along the offensive line, where Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang, David Bakhtiari and JC Tretter are all set to become unrestricted free agents following the 2016 season. How will the offense, which finished fifth, eighth and first in scoring from 2012-14, respond to having a new playcaller (Tom Clements) for the first time since Mike McCarthy became the head coach in 2006? This is the big question going forward, as it was situational play calling that arguably cost the Packers a berth in Super Bowl 49. --Louis Riddick
The youth movement: General manager Ted Thompson is the best homegrown farmer in the NFL. He's the master of getting three or four starters out of every draft -- and signing most to second contracts. The Packers' top overall ranking is two-fold -- Aaron Rodgers and a roster built almost exclusively with players who started their careers in Green Bay. Thompson drafted an offensive line that has become one of the top three units in football. Eddie Lacy, a 2013 second-rounder, has been the beneficiary thus far, and another monster year looks to be on the horizon. This team is loaded. --John Clayton