Alabama defensive lineman LaBryan Ray will attempt to play a full season on the field in 2021, a feat that he has only accomplished once since joining the program in 2017. However, that has not been due to lack of trying.
In three of Ray's four seasons with the Crimson Tide, Ray has been plagued with injuries. In 2017 Ray suffered a severe foot injury that resulted in him playing in only five games. After a fairly successful sophomore campaign, Ray suffered a season-ending leg injury against South Carolina in his junior season. In 2020, multiple injuries saw him play in seven games with just three starts.
Injuries will likely play a large part in NFL scouts' evaluation of Ray following his redshirt-senior season. That being said, Ray has proven that he can be a valuable asset on the defensive line when he is healthy.
Pos: Defensive Line
Hometown: Madison, Ala.
High School: James Clemens
Long and violent strong side defensive end who lines up all over the line for Alabama. From shaded nose in pass-rush packages to over tight ends in base, displaying his athleticism. Ray snaps out of his stance, threatening tackles vertically before coming inside with a violent hump or quick swim move. At extension he outreaches blockers consistently, twisting them with his violent hands. He can two-gap with his length and ability to disengage quickly. His lateral range is very good on the inside. Ray plays hard and delivers a hit when he gets home. He is smart and disciplined, playing his responsibility against the run. In the quick game, he gets his hands on the football, batting passes at the line.
Has not been able to stay healthy, suffering two significant lower-body injuries during his career. Has to convert speed to power with his length and size, which he does not, slowing his momentum before taking on blockers. Scheme specific player who a team will have to be willing to move around to get the most out of.
A great athlete with length and violence who can line up all over the formation who is best at five-technique. Ray defends the run with his intelligence, strength and ability to control gaps at extension. He is too long and athletic for most guards to handle as a pass rusher on the interior. Has not been able to stay healthy with two significant lower-body injuries. Converting his get-off and speed to power would take his pass-rushing to the next level. Ray projects as a starting strong-side defensive end if he can stay healthy. He can be an impact player in all phases of the game and contribute in a rotation as a rookie.
A solid athlete, Ray's length and size gives him an advantage over guards when he lines up on the defensive interior. While his strength and speed are two of his biggest assets, his intelligence takes his game to another level. That being said, he has grown to be quite injury-prone during his time at Alabama — something that NFL scouts will no doubt take into consideration. If he can stay healthy, Ray would make a solid strong-side defensive end at the next level. Should he be able to work on converting his speed into power over the course of his final season, he has the ability to be one of the top defensive linemen in next year's NFL Draft.
Crimson Tide Scouting Report is a 17-part series on Alabama's prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft, with evaluations by NFL Draft Bible and analysis by BamaCentral. Check out his profile on NFL Draft Bible.
Alabama defensive lineman LaBryan Ray will attempt to play a full season on the field in 2021, a feat that he has only accomplished once since joining the program in 2017. However, that has not been due to lack of trying. Subscribe for full article
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