Next year now: 26 bold predictions for the 2018 NFL season

What if the 49ers had traded for Garoppolo earlier? (1:35)

The NFL Live crew weighs in on how different the Niners' season could have been with Jimmy Garoppolo as their Week 1 starting QB. (1:35)

With the new year approaching, I've collected 26 NFL predictions for 2018 from league insiders, ranking them from most believable to most outlandish.

Why 26? That's how many I had collected when my deadline arrived. Some seem downright far-fetched, but is anything far-fetched in a league that saw the Los Angeles Rams transform themselves into an offensive powerhouse overnight?

We begin with Tom Brady and end with Bill Belichick, with predictions involving Ed Hochuli, Jon Gruden, Dez Bryant and even the UFC in between. I predict you'll enjoy the read.

1. Tom Brady will be even better in 2018

The reason: Welcoming back Julian Edelman from injury next season will restore the Patriots' offense to full power in 2018, as Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks will remain under contract. Brady struggled against Miami when forced to play without both Edelman and Gronkowski. Give Brady one of them and he's fine. Give Brady both of them and look out, rest of NFL.

The caveat: The Patriots could lose offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to a head-coaching job, threatening the continuity that has further set apart New England from most teams. How would the Patriots compensate? They could try to bring back Brian Daboll, who left New England for Alabama after the 2016 season.