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  1. Projecting what an NFL team is going to look like in two years is hard. Go back to Week 1 of the 2016 season and you'll see what I mean. Drew Brees was throwing to Brandin Cooks and Coby Fleener. The 49ers shut out the Rams and starting quarterback Case Keenum 28-0 in a game in which Blaine Gabbertstarted ahead of Colin Kaepernick. The starting running backs in the Dolphins-Seahawks game were Arian Foster and Christine Michael. Things change quickly. Recently, I was talking to Lindsay Jones of The Athletic on my podcast, and we started wondering what the 2020 Raiders' roster might look like as Jon Gruden & Co. make their move to Las Vegas. We didn't get very far, and that was before the Amari Cooper trade happened. I think it's an interesting exercise, though, so I've gone ahead and tried to project which players from each team's 2018 roster are likely to make it onto their roster come Week 1 of 2020. Those rosters will obviously include 2019 and 2020 draft picks, and there are young players who will emerge as meaningful contributors between now and then, so consider this an imperfect look into what each team's long-term core currently looks like, nearly halfway through the 2018 campaign. I've split each team into three groups. The virtual locks section is for players I think have at least a 90 percent shot of making the 2020 roster, given their contract situation and draft status. In most cases, I would expect 2017 and 2018 draft picks taken in the top three rounds to make it to 2020, which is reflected here. The on the bubble group is for the players I think have something closer to a 55 percent shot of appearing on the roster in 2020. They might be starring veterans who have onerous contracts in the future, young players who haven't found their role, or placeholders who are likely to be usurped by a draft pick or let go as part of a regime change. Finally, the unlikely notables section is for players who have no more than a 15 percent shot of making it to 2020 on the same team. This section is for mid-30s veterans who are likely to retire, young players who are riding pine, and regulars whose contracts will be even more difficult to swallow by the 2020 offseason. I've tried to limit this to more notable players, if only to avoid listing every practice-squad member or backup long-snapper and make this column five times as long. As always, I'm sure a player or two sneaked through the list, but this should be some comparative insight into what each NFL organization has built for the future. Some of the cores surprised me. Let's start with a team in the middle of a massive rebuild and go in alphabetical order: Atlanta Falcons Virtual locks: QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones, T Jake Matthews, DE Takkarist McKinley, S Keanu Neal, LB Deion Jones, CB Isaiah Oliver, DT Deadrin Senat, WR Calvin Ridley All the agents for Deion Jones and Neal have to do to point out their clients' value is show tape of the 2018 Falcons' defense after they went on injured reserve. Ridley has nearly as many touchdowns in a half-season (six) as the three top-10 wideouts of the 2017 class have over their first year and a half combined (seven). On the bubble: DE Vic Beasley, C Alex Mack, CB Robert Alford, T Ryan Schraeder, CB Desmond Trufant, S Ricardo Allen, RB Tevin Coleman, DT Grady Jarrett, LB De'Vondre Campbell, RB Ito Smith, CB Brian Poole, TE Austin Hooper, LB Duke Riley Atlanta's defensive collapse might call its cornerbacks into question, with Alford standing out as a frequently burned problem. The Falcons will have to work out new deals for Jarrett after 2018 and Beasley after 2019; given Beasley's lack of production since leading the league in sacks in 2016, the Falcons should lean toward renewing Jarrett and letting Beasley test the market. Unlikely notables: WR Mohamed Sanu, RB Devonta Freeman, G Andy Levitre, G Brandon Fusco, K Matt Bryant Freeman has missed time in both 2017 and 2018 since signing a five-year, $41.3 million extension before the 2017 campaign; the Falcons can get out of his deal with $6 million in dead money before 2020 and might be better off using the savings elsewhere. http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/25133131/projecting-2020-roster-locks-bubble-players-all-32-nfl-teams#atl