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Report: Broncos had a one-hour zoom meeting with Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford

Let the prospect meeting begin!

109th Rose Bowl Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

According to 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis, the Denver Broncos quarterback coach Davis Mills held a one-hour zoom meeting with Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford. As Klis notes, Clifford is a day-three prospect but the team is doing its homework on the late-round quarterback prospects.

Clifford is a 6’2”, 219-pound quarterback who was a four-year starter during his storied career at Penn State. During his four seasons, he totaled 10,661 yards passing, 86 touchdowns, and 31 interceptions. He also rushed the ball 388 times for 1,073 yards with 15 rushing touchdowns. This past season for Penn State, he totaled 2,822 yards passing, 24 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. He also had 176 yards rushing and 5 rushing touchdowns. Now he enters the 2023 NFL Draft hoping to be among the quarterbacks drafted.

Here is a scouting report on Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford by The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs.

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.

So, the Broncos can have three one-hour zoom calls with prospects leading up to the draft and they used one of those on quarterback Sean Clifford. They had recently hired first-time coach and quarterback’s coach Davis Mills lead the zoom call interview. It is just a sign that the Broncos are going to do their homework on these late-round quarterbacks despite having Russell Wilson and recently signed Jarrett Stidham in the quarterback room already.

You should always do your homework on these late-round quarterbacks in case you find a hidden gem as the 49ers did with Brock Purdy. Also, the Broncos' quarterback room is far from settled. Russell Wilson is in a make-or-break audition that will decide his future with the team while Jarrett Stidham has yet to prove to be more than a developmental backup now on his third team. So, it makes sense to do your homework so you can potentially find a developmental backup or a long-term starter at that position.