Fact or Fiction: Alex Leatherwood was biggest first-round reach

In today’s Fact or Fiction, Rivals National Columnist Mike Farrell looks at three big recent topics in college football and decide whether the statements about them are FACT or FICTION.

1. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are the best
reunion of the NFL Draft. 

Ja’Marr Chase (Getty Images)

FACT. This isn’t an easy call as the Jaguars are reuniting Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, the Eagles reuniting Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith and the Dolphins reuniting Tua Tagovaioloa and Jaylen Waddle. But to me the Bengals have the most dangerous duo right away as long as Joe Burrow is healthy. Ja’Marr Chase is going to be a great pro and has Hall of Fame potential while we saw signs of what Burrow can do last year. The Jags would be my second choice but give me the Bengals-LSU reunion right now.

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*****

2. The biggest reach of the first round was OL Alex
Leatherwood.

Alex Leatherwood

Alex Leatherwood (Getty Images)

FICTION. I was as stunned as anyone else when the Las Vegas Raiders took Alex Leatherwood at No. 17 and I feel they could have traded back and still gotten their man late in the first round or the top of the second, but to me the biggest reach of the first round was defensive end Jayson Oweh for the Baltimore Ravens. The rush end from Penn State is an athletic freak but zero sacks last season and questionable technique had me feeling he was a second-rounder at best. It puzzles me when I see accomplished players like Ronnie Perkins slide to the third round while Oweh lands in the first.

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*****

3. Nebraska’s spring game ending is a good sign
for 2021.

Logan Smothers

Logan Smothers (Getty Images)

FACT. It’s a good question because, in a thrilling ending, backup quarterbacks Logan Smothers and Heinrich Haarberg led huge drives in key moments to lead the White team to a last-second win over the Red. The issue? The Red team is the first-team and they got carved up a bit by two quarterbacks who don’t have a ton of real experience. But I’d much rather have my quarterbacks gaining confidence in the spring, especially the guys who might have to replace Adrian Martinez if he struggles or gets injured. There was some optimism about an eight-win season for Nebraska by some local media following the spring and while I don’t buy into that yet, the confidence boost for both signal callers could pay off down the line.

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Source: Rivals.com

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