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2022 NFL Draft Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide Defensive Lineman LaBryan Ray

Once a prized prospect, Ray was injured during four of his five seasons with the Crimson Tide and took fewer than 1,000 snaps during his entire collegiate career.

There's just no other way to put it regarding Alabama defensive lineman LaBryan Ray's NFL potential and status heading into the 2022 NFL Draft: He's an injury risk. 

His potential is obvious. Ray was considered by many to be the top prospect in the state of Alabama back in 2017. He was a star at James Clemens High School in Madison, a five-star talent who finished one season with 25 tackles for a loss and 13 sacks. 

Unfortunately, he didn't match those numbers during his lengthy career with the Crimson Tide. 

You'll more than notice a trend here: 

His freshman season, 2017, Ray suffered a foot injury that limited his playing time to just six games.

Played in all 15 games as a sophomore, with one start, and was credited with 39 tackles, including 5.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks. Those are all career highs. 

In 2019, Ray got off to a good start but suffered a lower leg injury at South Carolina. He redshirted after playing in just three games, during which he made nine tackles, including 1.5 for loss and a sack, and also forced one fumble.

More injury problems in 2020, including with an elbow, limited him to seven games with three starts. He was in on 12 tackles and a half-sack. 

Ray played in all but two games in 2021, but he actually had fewer tackles with 11. 

LaBryan Ray
Alabama defensive lineman LaBryan Ray talks to the media during the 2022 NFL Combine.
Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne (9) is tackled by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman LaBryan Ray (89) , defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) and linebacker Mack Wilson (30) in the first half during the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game at Levi's Stadium.
LaBryan Ray on Alabama Pro Day
LaBryan Ray
Missouri Tigers quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) looses his helmet as he is sacked by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman LaBryan Ray (18) during the second half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium.
Draft Prospect:  LaBryan Ray,  Alabama
LaBryan Ray, August 26, 2020

Draft Day 1

  • What: Round 1
  • When: Thursday, April 28
  • Time: 7 p.m. CT
  • TV: NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes (es)
  • Mobile and CTV: NFL, ESPN
  • Web: NFL.com, ABC.go.com, ESPN.com
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Draft Day 2

  • What: Rounds 2-3
  • When: Friday, April 29
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • TV: NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes (es)
  • Mobile and CTV: NFL, ESPN
  • Web: NFL.com, ABC.go.com, ESPN.com

Draft Day 3

  • What: Rounds 4-7
  • When: Saturday, April 30
  • Time: 11 a.m.
  • TV: NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes (es)
  • Mobile and CTV: NFL, ESPN
  • Web: NFL.com, ABC.go.com, ESPN.com

BamaCentral will profile each of the former Crimson Tide players expected to be selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. This is the ninth story in the series:

Christopher Allen

Jalyn Armour-Davis

Slade Bolden

Christian Harris

Josh Jobe

Phidarian Mathis

John Metchie III 

Evan Neal