About the 2017 ITP Draft Guide

Let’s be honest.


We’ve all photoshopped Mel Kiper’s hair onto our face to see if we could cut it as the next NFL Draft Guru. And if you haven’t, you’ve wanted to, but simply lacked the technical skills required to do so.


The Draft Guru has become one of the defining archetypes of the NFL, up there with the All-American quarterback with the perfect smile, the relentless coach who is always tinkering, and the billionaire owner who loves to tell everyone just how good things are going to be this season. But there is just one problem with the Draft Guru.


It isn’t how NFL teams work.


Thomas Dimitroff doesn’t sit in a room by himself for three months after the Super Bowl watching tape on every prospect in the Draft. Dave Gettleman hasn’t bought the exclusive rights to DraftBreakdown to gain sole access to a massive library of prospect tape. Ozzie Newsome doesn’t subsist on a diet of hot pockets and Top Ramen while pulling all-nighters trying to watch every specialist. Rather, the approach taken by NFL teams to conduct their college scouting is one of collaboration, intense scrutiny and discussion, and the use of multiple viewpoints to make sure no stone is left unturned. Because while too many cooks spoil the broth, no one man is responsible for discovering the next Revis Island.


In keeping with this spirit, Inside the Pylon is publishing its first annual ITP Draft Guide this year. A collaborative effort with more than 30 people working together, the goal of this guide is not to provide one point of view that tells you what to think about the top prospects in this year’s draft, but rather to provide you with insight into the processes by which these prospects are analyzed and ranked. By employing multiple sets of eyes, we actively encourage disagreement and multiple points of view on prospects in order to paint the most accurate picture possible. It is only by acknowledging our own biases and skewed analysis that we are able to learn and produce better results.


Beyond the collaborative effort, there are several key differences from other draft guides. We include both one and three-year projections to account for a prospect’s immediate impact, followed by the longer-term potential for his future. Our grading scheme is modeled on those of NFL front offices, with the same nomenclature and syntax that is used throughout the NFL. Our rankings are also built to factor in positional need and scarcity throughout the league, as value is always relative to other options available.


We’ve had a lot of fun putting together this guide. We’ve learned a lot through this process that is going to help us get better next year. But for now, sit back and enjoy the work of our team as they take you through the top 100 prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft.