The Green Bay Packers used the 149th overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft to select quarterback Sean Clifford, a 46-game starter and three-time All-Big Ten pick from Penn State who is now in line to be the backup behind Jordan Love.
Here’s our instant analysis of the Packers taking Clifford in the fifth round:
An offer for Packers fans
The Packers needed to acquire a backup quarterback behind Jordan Love, but Clifford looks like a big reach at this point in the draft. He’s experienced in the Big Ten and a good all-around athlete (9.04 RAS), but many evalators believed he wouldn’t be drafted and eventually sign as an undrafted free agent. The Packers brought in Clifford for a visit, so clearly there was a connection. Can Clifford be Love’s Matt Flynn? Like Flynn, Clifford is a smart, tough and athletic quarterback from a winning program. Both had accuracy and decision-making question marks. The next question: Can Clifford beat out Danny Etling to be the No. 2 in 2023, or is he headed to the practice squad in Year 1?
We knew the Packers would add a QB, we just didn’t know when. Clifford is an interesting choice since some thought he could go undrafted. A four-year starter, he is a good decision maker in an RPO-heavy system and has the necessary mobility. However, his lack of arm talent/strength limits his upside. Clifford will compete for backup duties with Danny Etling.
Sean Clifford saw it all during his time at Penn State. He finished his career with 46 career starts and is Penn State’s all-time leader in passing yards. The Packers needed another quaterback in the room and Clifford could serve as Jordan Love’s backup.
Drafting a quarterback shouldn’t come as a surprise. Prior to the draft, the Packers had just two quarterbacks on the roster. With that said, I’m not sure many expected it to be Sean Clifford, who was considered a possible undrafted rookie. Green Bay had him in for a top 30 visit and what I imagine grabbed their attention was his athleticism and mobility along with the experience that he has with nearly 1,500 career dropbacks.