@Ohio State (2021), vs Indiana (2021), @Iowa (2021), vs Michigan (2021)
Has an ability to extend plays with his legs if he has to. Does not have electric speed to make multiple defenders miss but can pick up necessary yardage to move the chains due to his natural running ability. Does have the arm strength to make intermediate throws to the boundary of the field. Is a QB that likes to take the short high percentage throws. Will show some poise in pocket when given enough time to go through his full progressions. Does not make a lot of unnecessary ugly mistakes.
Is not able to make huge plays/throws deep down the field at a consistent rate. Being consistently accurate was not present enough. When clear pressure is in his face, it causes him to get off-balance, and inaccuracy will result in his throws. Tends to drop his eyes in his progressions when the pressure is brought. Does not have an electric ability to make plays with his legs.
Sean Clifford is Penn State’s 6’2”, 219-pound QB that has the ability to stand in the pocket with confidence and read the field if he is given the proper time. Clifford is a QB that likes to take the short and intermediate throws that have a much higher completion percentage. This is not a QB that takes a lot of risks which results in potential mistakes. Not taking risks is good but the potential big-play factor just is not present enough, especially deep down the field. Clifford did struggle against clear pressure in his face. Pressure would cause Clifford to be off-balance, drop his eyes, or simply inaccuracy in his throws tended to be the result. Clifford does have an ability to escape the pocket with his legs and pick up extra yardage, but he does not have that special athletic ability to make multiple defenders miss on a play. Passing mechanics can get sloppy when attempting to make more powerful throws into a tighter window or deep down the field. More development in his natural touch has to happen moving forward for Clifford. Overall, this is a QB that does not make a ton of mistakes on the field but tends to get off-balance and flustered with clear pressure is brought.
This is not a QB that has an explosive scrambling ability but there is enough agility and acceleration in his athletic ability to pick up extra yardage with his legs. Can move around the pocket well and will bail out to avoid pressure. Would tend to scramble out of the pocket if a clear push from the middle of the pocket was evident. Not many positive plays resulted when he was on the move, even when attempting to throw. Was able to run effective RPO and PA plays but being able to be that consistent threat with his legs is not present.
Scrambling Ability and
RPO and Play Action
Pocket Mobility/Avoid Pressure
Big Play Ability
Big Play Ability
Touch and Ball Placement
An average release is present in his game. His throwing mechanics can get sloppy and off-balance when trying to throw more powerful passes. Has a delivery that is much more accurate when taking better steps and not on the move. This is not a QB that excels with making throws on the run, off-balance, and deep down the field. Was able to make a few throws on the run but when clear pressure is in his face, his eyes tended to drop. Consistent pressure forces him to run, or an inaccurate throw would result on the play. When in rhythm with his steps and drop backs, he throws much more effectively and accurately. Was able to make some impressive throws outside the numbers but doing it at a consistent level just was not there. Many balls deep down the field would get away from him because of the lack of touch. Would tend to take shorter routes because of the higher completion rate. Having that big play ability needs to be more evident throughout games.
Poise in Pocket
Shows a good amount of poise in the pocket but pressure was able to get to him at times and effect his throws. Has the ability to step up into the pocket to deliver a throw down the field. Was productive in his playing career and in 2021. Does not have an electric improvisation ability but was able to make some plays on the move when a play would break down.
Was able to make solid reads when going through his progressions. If he is under pressure however, his progressions can be rushed, or he tends to bail out of reading the field. Does not have horrible decision making and didn’t make a ton of ugly mistakes. Not a whole lot of pre-snap adjustment and communication. Will need to do more at the next level to reach that starter role.