Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, like the rest of the NFL's 32 teams, is in Indianapolis at the 2011 NFL Combine. Rivera spoke with the media on Thursday morning and talked about, what else, the 2011 NFL draft. The Panthers hold the top pick so plenty of folks are interested in what they're going to do.
Rivera said they have 8-10 players under consideration for the top overall pick including defensive linemen and quarterbacks.
Who might those players be?
Looking at SB Nation's latest 2011 NFL mock draft, I would guess the defensive linemen include Auburn DT Nick Fairley, Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers, North Carolina DE Richard Quinn and Alabama DT Marcell Dareus. As for the quarterbacks, the top two include Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert and Auburn QB Cam Newton. Other players they could be considering at the top of the draft include LSU CB Patrick Peterson, Texas A&M LB Von Miller and Georgia WR A.J. Green.
Obviously some of those players -- like the top two defensive linemen and quarterbacks -- may have a better shot at becoming the No. 1 pick than others. But this gives us a glimpse at a few of the names that are likely on the Panthers radar for the top pick.