NFL executives believe flag football is the "future" of the sport. Now that's becoming reality, with American football set to make its Olympics debut at the 2028 Summer Games in the form of a flag competition.

Naturally, NFL players have already chimed in to tease participation, and the league is doing the same, suggesting current players could eventually represent both Team USA and other countries.

It's 2023, so 2028 is a long way off in terms of "NFL years." Consider that, just five years ago, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck were among the league's top passers, and Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley were pacing ball-carriers.

Even so, here's our present-day forecast of some potential 5-on-5 starters and substitutes for a 2028 Olympic flag team:

Athleticism is key in flag, where speed and agility take precedence over contact, and Jackson has long set the standard for dual-threat signal-callers. He'll be 31 in 2028, but like Michael Vick before him, he's also got unteachably effortless arm strength.

You don't really believe the NFL is going international without Brady, do you? By 2028, the twice-retired legend will be 51, but he's always relied on smarts to offset any physical decline. He could slot in as both a QB substitute, an unofficial coach and captain, and that's not even accounting for a potential dual-QB setup where opponents are forced to spy Jackson like a skill player.

Achane has an injury history, but he's a perfect candidate for a noncontact version of the game thanks to his track speed. In 2028, he'll still be just 27. The Dolphins' rookie standout could easily rotate between running back and receiver.

Hill is already going on 30, so will his own track speed hold up? We can only guess. But this guy's been a physical freak ever since he entered the NFL, shredding deep secondaries for two very different teams and offenses. He's simply uncoverable.

Speaking of uncoverable, whereas Hill straight-up outraces anyone defending him, Jefferson has an unmatched ability to find wide-open grass with his silky stride and routes. He'll be 29 in 2028, and if his early-career start is an indication, he'll still be dominating.

You don't go viral chirping "I'm always f---in' open" if you don't back up the talk, which Chase absolutely does. At just 23 now, he's got plenty of long-term upside remaining. Few players are shiftier and more explosive in open space.

What Wilson lacks in Hill's sheer electricity, the Jets wideout more than makes up for with polished downfield awareness. He's been QB-proof in New York to start his career and would profile as a sure-handed safety valve on the flag field.

Is there anything Parsons can't do? The recent Defensive Rookie of the Year is the heart and soul of Dallas with a mind-bending combo of size, speed and strength, making him a shoo-in to headline a defensive front in flag. He'll be 29 in 2028.

If there's one young corner in today's game capable of blanketing wideouts on an island, it's Gardner, who will only be 28 in 2028. His closing speed and physicality at the catch point would make him an asset lined up against pass catchers in open space.

Trevon Diggs gets all the attention in Dallas' secondary, but Bland deserves just as much, if not more. In his first year and a half at the NFL level, he's racked up eight picks and 14 pass deflections. The guy just stays around the ball.

Cover skills are important, and Witherspoon has shown them early in his rookie season with Seattle. But so is sheer speed, which he's also got in spades. He leads the NFL in pick-return yards, and he'll only be 27 when it's time for Olympics flag.

As we said, speed is of the utmost importance in flag. Barnes may not be as accomplished when it comes to coverage production, but the journeyman corner can fly; his 4.23-second 40-yard dash in 2022 was the second-fastest ever recorded.