3 reasons why the Packers drafted QB Sean Clifford

Rose Bowl - Utah v Penn State
Rose Bowl - Utah v Penn State / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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A stylistic fit

Clifford built himself a strong resume while wearing blue and white, but Green Bay drafted him for what he'll do in the future. Clearly, the front office is confident in his abilities to fit on this roster.

The deficiencies of Clifford's game have been documented by scouts. He doesn't always get rid of the ball as fast as he needs to, and his arm strength has also drawn concerns. He won't be making Aaron Rodgers-esque Hail Mary throws any time soon.

However, the structure of the Packers' current offense lends itself well to the rookie's strengths. When healthy and at full strength, the Packers' offensive line is one of the best in the league and provides ample time for the quarterback to throw.

Rodgers weaponized this for ages, buying himself time to keep plays alive one way or another. Rolling out to keep drives alive is something Clifford also does well, which helps him make up for his tendencies to react slowly to defensive pressure in the pocket.

Clifford isn't Rodgers, of course, but this type of comfort to move with the ball has shades of the former MVP.

Clifford also fits in with Matt LaFleur's offense because of his experience working with similar personnel. The best two seasons of his Penn State career came in 2019 and 2022, years when the team's biggest strength on offense was the run attack.

Whether it was alongside Journey Brown or the dynamic duo of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen, Clifford thrived when defenses were increasingly fearful of his teammates in the backfield.

When he's asked to be an accurate chain-mover as opposed to having to make big plays as the essential part of an offense, Clifford finds much more success.

With the presence of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, along with the pedigree of the O-line, Clifford would be able to replicate his college approach should Jordan Love miss time.

And while he may not replicate his college statistics if he's thrust into action, it's hard to believe No. 8 wouldn't be capable of finding his footing to some degree.

Clifford's schematic fit, combined with his experience and poise, shows why Gutekunst has placed faith in his professional prospects.

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