Max Valles was picked up off of the Raiders Practice Squad, he’s a fit in Rex Ryan’s scheme.
The Bills picked up Max Valles off of the Raiders practice squad earlier in the week (Dec 2015) and this guy will fit in just right. The Bills were in the thick of transitioning to Rex’ Hybrid 3-4 base defense. The injuries had stacked up on every level of the defense, so Ryan immediately made some changes. They went out and picked up TJ Barnes and Lavar Edwards, players that fit the prototypical 3-4 defense.
With the signing of Max Valles, it is very evident that the Bills will be making some major defensive changes next season. Is this kid one of the new faces on the defense for the future? It’s possible, so lets get to know him.
Max is a 6’5″ 251 pound outside linebacker who was drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 draft. Typical of Rex’ kind of players he is extremely long, his wingspan is 32 5/8 inches! He looks just as long as his number show, he still could fill out his frame but the guy has an NFL body. He ran a 4.88 at the combine and a broad jump of 9′ 9″. Here are his college stats courtesy of footballdb.com:
Valles is #88 in the following film clips
His length definitely gives him an advantage when setting the edge in the run game. He has the ability to control tight ends with his length and power. I like his contact and pad level when the run is coming at him.
Here he bench presses the offensive lineman, keeps his eyes up and disengages to make the tackle.
There were times that the blocker’s footwork gave the offense the upper hand and thus the edge in the run game. But more times than not he set the edge and forced the runner back into the teeth of the defense.
On the following play Valles reads the QB and intercepts the pass and takes it to the house.
As you can see he has the ability to get to the QB, getting 9 sacks in 2014, but when he doesn’t get through he has an uncanny ability to deflect passes.
He had 13 pass deflections in his college career. Nine of them in his last college season.
He played in a 3-4 system at Virginia and his ability to rush contain also shows in his film. Something Mario struggled with.
He shows decent change of direction skills.
The negatives; inexperience. He has played very little football and is just a pure athlete. He is a kid that needs to be coached up, because he currently relies on his eyes too much rather than football intelligence.
I have yet to see Valles put together a solid combination of rush moves on his way to getting a sack.
He is raw, and the staff will have their work cut out for them in the off-season.
This is a solid pick-up for the Bills. I won’t say that he is a starter in this league, but he definitely fits Rex Ryan’s scheme. To Bills fans dismay, Ryan is starting to bring in players that fit his defense. As a starter or back-up Valles has the tools to play the OLB position in this defense.
Lavar Edwards update here.