5 quarterbacks the Commanders could select in the 2023 NFL Draft

(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Dorian Thompson-Robinson
(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Dorian Thompson-Robinson /
3 of 6
(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) Sean Clifford /

Commanders could draft Sean Clifford

Sean Clifford played in more than 50 games for Penn State and leaves as the winningest quarterback in school history. He has never dazzled anyone. He just produced time and time again.

The fact that he isn’t dazzling should not suggest that Clifford is a subpar athlete. He is an excellent one.

He is plenty big enough at 6-foot-2 and 211 pounds, especially when you see how easily he moves in and out of the pocket. Clifford has been clocked at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and though his rushing numbers don’t stand out, the quarterback is a very good runner when the situation dictates.

He has a good arm, though it too is not elite. Clifford only completed about 60 percent of his passes throughout his college career, but as with Adrian Martinez, he was a lot more efficient by the time he reached his senior year.

Even though his arm isn’t the best, it was good enough to make big plays. One of the final memories Nittany Lion fans have of Clifford is from the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl, where he faked a quick out in the flat, then launched the ball 50 yards in the air, hitting KeAndre Lambert-Smith in stride.

By the time Lambert-Smith reached the end zone, they had combined for the longest touchdown pass in Rose Bowl history at 88 yards.

Clifford was a four-year captain at Penn State who showed excellent leadership skills. Coach James Franklin tasked him with shepherding a group of very inexperienced backups – one of whom will most likely inherit the job next season.

Everyone I know associated with the program raved about how Clifford took to the job. If you were part of the Heinicke Hive with the Washington Commanders, you should be rooting for Clifford.

He is as close as you will find to Taylor Heinicke in this year’s draft – only he produced against significantly better college competition.