With both the NFL and college football seasons in full swing, it's not only time to enjoy both, but also time to crank up the scouting effort for the 2017 NFL Draft. We normally shoot for November 1st to get the draft prospects in place, but we beat that by a few weeks this year - the initial list of 1,000 prospects is now live on the Prospects page, under the Draft Room tab.
Thanks to our friends at CBSSports.com, once again our source for our draft prospects list. Rob Rang and his team are always among the first to not only produce a deep, comprehensive list, but also to write meaningful scouting content for our rabid draft fans.
CBS' list includes underclassmen currently projected to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft. Forecasting draft eligibility always involves a bit of guesswork this far out into the future, and, necessarily, we will make additions and deletions as players declare or decide to return to school for various reasons. In fact, we inevitably need to add a handful of players during the later rounds of the live draft, as NFL personnel departments go deep to snag diamonds in the rough.
Maintaining our prospects list is a manual process, and we welcome your feedback. If you've found your own diamond, feel free to tell us about him, and we'll check him out and possibly add him to our list.
All of the tools we provide - from grading and ranking to entering your own scouting notes - are available right now. We also have some (we think) really great tools in the works that should make your scouting effort easier and more efficient. We'll have further announcements as these enhancements take shape and are rolled out.
In the past, we've posted trivia about new schools that have draft prospects for the first time - think of how Ali Marpet put Hobart on the football map. This year, at least so far, there are way fewer first-time schools appearing - only two to date.
Stetson, located in DeLand, Florida, had two players drafted in the 1950s, but dropped football in 1956. The Hatters' program was reinstated in 2013 and competes in the FCS Pioneer Football League. This year, safety Donald Payne, initially ranked #369 by CBS, puts the school back on our map.
UNC Charlotte is our other newcomer. Like Stetson, the 49ers (who knew the gold rush extended so far east?) only recently began playing football, also in 2013. They began as an FCS independent, and moved up to Conference USA for the 2015 season.
Nose tackle Larry Ogunjobi, ranked #206 presently, leads a group of three 49ers on our initial prospects list. Ogunjobi is one interesting guy. He's the son of Nigerian immigrants, and is truly a scholar-athlete - with emphasis on "scholar." Ogunjobi has his eyes set on medical school after football, and is majoring in computer science with a minor in chemistry. One of our favorite aspects of the scouting/draft process is the human interest stories that emerge, and Ogunjobi certainly qualifies.
Have any of the characters in this year's class caught your attention? If so, post in the comments below.