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2015 NFL Draft: Oakland Raiders Select UVA OLB Max Valles

Valles joins his former teammate in northern california. The Oakland Raiders selected him in the 6th round with the 179th overall pick. This is a pretty decent situation for Valles, who won't be asked to do much early on. The Raiders defense is solid, and has a few "up-and-comers". By the time Valles is ready to contribute, the Raiders defense could be very good.

Max Valles will make his money as a pass rusher.
Max Valles will make his money as a pass rusher.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In a bit of a surprise in the 2015 NFL Draft, OLB Max Valles was drafted before SS Anthony Harris. Valles is a very raw prospect, with a very solid athletic profile. Valles was selected in the 6th round, with the 179th overall pick.

MORE Max Valles 

Valles played OLB in a 4-3 for the Hoos, but was seen as a more likely 3-4 OLB in the NFL. However, the Raiders are a 4-3 team, so Valles will begin his NFL career at the same position he played in college.

This is a good situation for Valles. They have a solid defense, although not a very deep one. They have a very good SLB in Khalil Mack, a rookie last year. So Valles isn't going to be starting anytime soon. At least intially, Valles will be used mostly on 3rd downs and passing situations. He'll be asked to simply pin his ears back and get after the QB. He'll also most likely be used on special teams.

Valles' success will depend on his ability to develop as a pass rusher. He'll have other duties (such as the aforementioned special teams duty), but he's going to make his money rushing the passer. If he bulks up a bit, he would move to DE, which would simplify his job a bit. In fact, especially on a 4-3 defense, DE is his likely ultimate destination. He'll have to develop his pass rush moves, and also become better against the run. But he has the potential to be a veyr good 4-3 DE in the National Football League.