Yes, get your private pilot license now, that is what I would do. I'm 17 too and finished ground school 1 week ago. Get the private license out of the way so you can start building your flight hours.
I don't know all the numbers, but of course you need a minimum of flight hours to be an airline pilot, so the earlier you start the better.
Also, you will need class ratings to fly bigger and faster jets. Class ratings are not something you pay for. They are given to you by your instructor and written into you logbook and they say that you are ready to fly a certain type of plane. For example, if you get you license in a Cessna 172, and you want to upgrade to something more complex you will need a class rating for that. Examples of class ratings are: retractable landing gear, more than one engine, or 200hp or more.
That's all I know, hope I helped.