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Sean Clifford Drafted No. 149 Overall By Green Bay Packers

Sean Clifford is officially NFL-bound, folks.

The former Penn State quarterback was selected by the Green Bay Packers at No. 149 overall in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He becomes the first Penn State quarterback to be selected since Trace McSorley was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2019.

Clifford had a very polarizing career at Penn State amongst fans, but he was undoubtedly one of the most successful quarterbacks in the program’s history.

The Cincinnati, Ohio native began his Penn State career backing up Trace McSorley during the 2018 season when he appeared in four games. He made his first appearance against Pitt and completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Polk on his first career passing attempt.

Once McSorley departed for the NFL, Clifford won the starting job from Tommy Stevens during the 2019 offseason. In his first year as a starter, Clifford appeared in 12 games, throwing for 2,654 yards, 23 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions with a 59.2% completion rate, leading the team to a Cotton Bowl victory to cap off the season.

His next season didn’t go as smoothly, though, as it was railroaded by the COVID-19 pandemic. At one point, Clifford was even benched for then-backup quarterback Will Levis, but he eventually won his starting job back. He finished the season with 1,883 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in nine games played.

Heading into the heart of the 2021 season, things were for Clifford until he suffered a rib injury that led to a heartbreaking 23-20 loss against No. 3 Iowa at Kinnick Stadium. Despite coming back to start the team’s next game against Illinois, Clifford didn’t look the same after that injury. He finished the season with 3,107 passing yards, eight interceptions, and 21 touchdowns in 13 games played.

Clifford then announced his intentions to stay one more year at Penn State, retaining the starting job over Drew Allar to start the season. Despite being met with plenty of controversy and backlash from fans throughout the season, Clifford still finished the season with a career-high 24 touchdowns, 2,822 passing yards, and seven interceptions with a 64.4% completion rate, becoming the all-time leader in passing yards in program history. He solidified his Penn State legacy with a Rose Bowl victory, playing arguably the best game of his career. He also was named the 2023 Rose Bowl offensive MVP.

Heading into the NFL, Clifford’s game-management abilities will be his biggest asset. Despite not making the flashiest plays in college, he knew how to take care of the football and do some serious damage control.

Clifford joins a Green Bay team that recently traded away star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Packers’ quarterback room is a relatively inexperienced one, as expected starter Jordan Love has only thrown 83 passes in his three-season career.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected].

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