Home Press Conference: UVA linebacker Max Valles talks NFL Draft selection by Oakland Raiders

Press Conference: UVA linebacker Max Valles talks NFL Draft selection by Oakland Raiders

vallesUVA sophomore linebacker Max Valles talks with the media after being selected by the Oakland Raiders in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft on Saturday.


Q: Were you surprised or did you have a lot of contact with the Raiders before this?

Valles: “They only real contact was that I had a formal with them at the combine and got the call right before my name got announced on TV. That was it.”


Q: Apparently they are projecting you as defensive end. Is that what you figured going into the draft?

Valles: “Outside [linebacker] or defensive end. I’m comfortable playing both so it’s whatever they need me at.”


Q: What are the things you need to work on most?

Valles: “Just working on a backup pass rush move, if one doesn’t work. I’ve been working on that a lot this offseason. Overall just becoming a more physical player. Coming from college to the NFL, it’s going to be a much more physical game so I just have to step it up a notch.”


Q: You had two years of eligibility left. Was that a big surprise back there that you left school?

Valles: “Kind of both. I felt comfortable playing at the next level. It worked out.”


Q: Was it a tough decision or something you felt pretty strongly about?

Valles: “I felt pretty strong about it.”


Q: Did you seek any outside advice on your decision to go pro?

Valles: “I talked to my coach and my family about it. Everybody felt that I was ready. Second in the ACC in sacks, All-ACC, I felt like it was time.”


Q: Did you play a lot of special teams?

Valles: “Yes, my freshman year I played core-four [special teams units]. They took me off special teams before camp my sophomore year. Figuring my athletic ability and being a linebacker my first couple years, I know I’m going to have to start on special teams.”


Q: I saw that Eli Harold got picked by the 49ers. Is that cool having a teammate close by?

Valles: “That is right in the Bay? I didn’t even think about that!”


Q: Have you been out here before?

Valles: “I’ve never been to California in my life.”



Have a story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.