Sean Clifford NFL Draft Overview
Weight: 220 pounds
School: Penn State
2023 NFL Draft: Sean Clifford Scouting Report
In 2017, Sean Clifford redshirted his first year at University Park and did not see any action on the field. In 2018, Clifford appeared in four games, completing five out of seven passes for 195 yards, two touchdowns, and without throwing an interception. In 2019, Clifford became the starting quarterback, appearing in all 12 games for the Nittany Lions, going 189/319, for 2,654 yards, a ridiculous, 23 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions.
In the pandemic-shortened year of 2020 (nine games), Clifford was 152/251, for 1,883 yards, and 16 touchdowns, but did have, what would be a career-high, nine interceptions. Clifford had a personal best, in passing yards in a season, during the 2021 campaign, going 261/428, for a whopping, 3,107 yards, and 21 touchdowns, against only eight interceptions, in 13 games. In his final season in the Keystone State, Clifford was 226/351 for 2,822 yards, and had a career-high in touchdowns (24), while only turning the ball over via the int, seven times, over the course of 13 games, for the Nittany Lions.
- Durable (Played in 51/59 games in 5 seasons, not counting 2017 RS season);
- Naturally athletic;
- Can be a threat as a runner or passer in RPO offense;
- Just about the size and build of a prototypical NFL QB;
- Ability to pick up yards with his feet, on busted pass plays.
- Herky-Jerky biomechanics as a passer;
- Inflated stats, due to many screen-passes and schemed plays;
- Frequently throws off his back foot;
- Uses only arm when passing on the run;
- Accuracy is an issue.
NFL Comparison: A more mobile Andy Dalton
Projection: Late fifth-UDFA
Bottom Line on Sean Clifford
Clifford’s resume is pretty impressive overall, with 86 touchdown passes to 31 interceptions. That statistic alone is very attractive to NFL teams; a quarterback that does not turn the ball over and gets in the endzone a lot. Inflated numbers aside (Screen passes), Clifford has the type of numbers that a team who needs depth at quarterback would be happy to use a pick on.
There may be some teams who are turned off by the fact that Clifford is an inch shorter than the average NFL quarterback and some who will not like his biomechanics. However, his numbers show he is getting the job done, so what should it matter, how he is getting the job done?
Additionally, in today’s NFL, the run-pass option (RPO), is being used more than ever. With Clifford having this as part of his repertoire, it is very likely a team would be willing to part with a late-round pick to secure Clifford’s services, if not for anything else, to see what he can do in training camp, then go from there. That said, with so many quarterback prospects in the draft, it also would not be surprising to see Clifford not selected, but be signed as soon as teams are allowed to sign undrafted free agents, upon completion of the draft.
Main Photo: Rich Storry – USA Today Sports