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ESPN ranks Redskins best team in the NFC East for the future

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Redskins have the best outlook in the NFC East, and 12th best outlook in the NFL over the next three seasons.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

E$PN IN$IDER posted a futures power ranking list this morning that should make some Redskins fans happy. Washington has the best future over the next three years in the NFC East, and is in the playoff section of the NFL(top 12, #6 in the NFC).  Below is the criteria for this list:

To project which NFL franchises are in the best shape for the next three seasons, we asked our panel of experts -- Louis Riddick, Mike Sando and Field Yates -- 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.

Scot McCloughan, Scot McCloughan, Scot McCloughan. Noticing a pattern here? The arrival of the troubled, but talented GM has immediately changed the outlook of the Redskins, and the culture of the team. McCloughan's reputation in scouting and drafting was well-known before his arrival, and his first two drafts look very promising for the future of the franchise.

The obvious big question mark for the team is still at quarterback with Kirk Cousins likely to play the 2016 season on the franchise tag without a long-term deal that would provide stability at the position. Colt McCoy has been the Redskins backup since Head Coach Jay Gruden's arrival in 2014, and signed a 3 year deal this year. The Redskins also drafted Nate Sudfeld in the 6th round, but he has a long way to go to get to backup level, let alone starting material.

ESPN's panel gives a high point, low point, and possible changes for the Redskins:

High point: Now two drafts into his tenure, the early work of GM Scot McCloughan shows promise: 2015 second-rounder Preston Smith is a potential star pass-rusher, while fourth-round wideout Jamison Crowder is a shifty slot operator. McCloughan was an architect in both San Francisco and Seattle prior to his time in Washington, helping to lay the foundation for each team's recent run of success (Seattle's is ongoing). Draft and develop will be the M.O. in D.C. -- Field Yates

Low point: Prior to McCloughan's arrival, the Redskins didn't pay much attention to future salary-cap ramifications and current roster chemistry. As a result, the roster needed a lot of work when McCloughan got hired. And while it's still not perfect, it's also important to mention the Redskins are a dominant pass-rusher away from having high-quality players at all five of the most important positions on an NFL team (QB, DE, CB, OT, WR). Give the scouting department, coaching staff and salary cap managers credit for putting together a roster that won the NFC East in 2015, and will be strong contenders once again in 2016. -- Louis Riddick

What could change: McCloughan has helped stabilize the organization by supporting coach Jay Gruden and bringing coherence to personnel decisions. No team fired him from a job for any reason relating to football, a testament to his skills as an evaluator over the past two-plus decades. Change in the front office is still a possibility, however, as McCloughan still must prove he can endure for the long term after alcohol abuse contributed to his departures from San Francisco and Seattle in 2010 and 2014, respectively. -- Mike Sando

Where does the rest of the NFC East rank?

16: New York Giants

24: Philadelphia Eagles

26: Dallas Cowboys