Max Valles to the Oakland Raiders: Full Draft-Pick Breakdown

The Oakland Raiders drafted Justin Tuck’s eventual replacement in the sixth round of the draft. Max Valles didn’t get the same recognition teammate Eli Harold received heading into the draft, but he’ll become a solid player for analysts to talk about going forward. 

In 2014, the Virginia defensive lineman led the team with nine sacks. He’s comfortable dropping back in coverage with eight passes defensed. In addition, he’s a decent run defender who's able to track ball-carriers and disrupt plays behind the line of scrimmage (12.5 tackles for a loss). The coaching staff can keep him on the field for all three downs as well as blitz schemes.

Fifth-round pick Neiron Ball will be a true project. Valles isn’t polished, but he’s a proven commodity off the edge. At 6’5”, 251 pounds, he has the frame to compete with tackles and run stunts between the gaps in effort to rack up sacks.

One AFC defensive line coach described Valles as a athlete instead of a football player in a complementary fashion to, "He's an athlete and not a football player right now. If it starts to click for him and he starts to put the tape work together with the talent—look out, buddy. If it doesn't click, you've got a backup defensive end." 

In other words if he learns the game through the playbook and applies it to the field with his physical gifts, the upside increases exponentially. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller further dissects Valles' fit with the Raiders in a possible 3-4 re-alignment:

Fortunately for Valles, he’ll have at least one season to learn the position behind Tuck and Khalil Mack. He won’t be expected to start on Day 1, but as a sixth-round pick, there’s no rush to put him on the field. 

Tuck has been relatively healthy lately, only missing six games in four seasons. However, i...

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