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6 Keys to Building Strong NFL Franchises

AP Photo

Each year, in every NFL team's war room, the tension is palpable. Hearts pound. Palms sweat. Aspirin is handy. The 2012 Draft will be no different.

Choices made between now and April 26's first round, and then on to the last pick on April 28, will play a large role in determining which teams rise and which teams fall. And, in which coaches and general managers stay and which ones go.

There are many ways to build a professional football team. But no matter how many trades you make, no matter how many free agents you sign, the draft is always critical. A solid draft can quickly change a team's identity, for better or worse.

Teams that consistently draft well have the best chance to sustain success, to avoid long periods of futility. New York Giants GM Jerry ...

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