Sean Clifford NFL Draft

Sean Clifford

  • QB Penn State
  • Senior
  • #328
  • 6'2"
  • 219lbs
  • Prospect
  • Big Ten

Prospect Summary

Sean Clifford 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report


  • 2017 Elite 11 finalist; named most accurate at camp
  • Also lettered in basketball and track and field in high school
  • Enters 2022 just 2,100 yards from the school’s all-time passing yardage record and 16 passing touchdowns from TD record (Trace McSorley)


  • Scheme tendencies: Spread offense with RPO and QB-run elements
  • 2022 projected role: Starting QB

Pros: Sean Clifford is a long-tenured, accomplished college quarterback who has done well for himself to forge his name on the Penn State passing leaderboard. He has mobility to boot; Penn State has long been using him (and his backups) to further weaponize the running game with the added element of a runner. Clifford has shown some natural feel when looking to move to both throw and run as well—getting outside the pocket is a strength. Penn State’s offense has given him ample RPO reads to help maximize productivity and decision-making, and Clifford has shown effective ball handling in real time to execute the offense. With good velocity on his throws from a clean pocket and effective vertical shots in the passing game to push the ball and keep defenses honest, Clifford’s Penn State offenses have featured enough balance to work effectively throughout the course of his career. Clifford is a high-character individual who has received positive reviews for his intelligence and leadership—he was the first two-time captain at his high school program and has served as a leader for the Nittany Lions since becoming the starter. 

Cons: For all of Sean Clifford’s accolades and production, I do think there’s going to need to be a quantum leap in his play in 2022 to inject enthusiasm into his NFL draft profile. Clifford has struggled in more traditional concepts to read the field of play and I’m not sure a sixth-year senior is going to get the benefit of the doubt if this is still in question when he leaves school. Clifford, as a passer, is best over the middle of the field in short spaces and on vertical throws to drop it in the bucket, but his touch and accuracy generally lack and he makes his receivers work harder than they ideally would in order to convert reception opportunities. There have been stretches where RAC and explosive plays were left on the field due to poor ball placement. While Clifford’s 60.4% completion rate currently ranks tops in Penn State history for qualifying QBs, it is a troublesomely low number for the college game and serves as a testament to the placement inconsistencies that have plagued his game for several seasons.

Sean Clifford NFL Draft Scouting Report by Kyle Crabbs