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Carolina Panthers

WR LaFell signed


During wide receiver Brandon LaFell's workouts at Panthers summer school, head coach John Fox commented that LaFell looked like he belonged on the NFL level.

LaFell now officially belongs after signing on the dotted line Tuesday.

A third-round pick out of Louisiana State (78th overall), LaFell became the ninth of the Panthers' 10 draft choices to sign as the July 28 start to training camp creeps closer. Quarterback Jimmy Clausen, a second-round selection (the Panthers didn't have a first-rounder) is the lone remaining unsigned draftee.

LaFell and fellow third-rounder Armanti Edwards should see plenty of work when training camp kicks off at Wofford. Top receiver Steve Smith is expected to be sidelined at the start of training camp with a broken bone in his left arm, and fellow veteran Muhsin Muhammad recently retired.

"He's a big, speedy receiver," Fox said of LaFell, a 6-3, 206-pounder with 4.55 speed.  "A lot of those guys have added some juice to that unit, and we'll see how they do when we start playing real football."

LaFell contributed each of his four seasons at LSU to rank second in school history in touchdown receptions (25) and third in receptions (175) and receiving yardage (2,517). A two-time All-Southeastern Conference selection, LaFell scored 11 times as a senior and caught at least one pass in 41 consecutive games to end his college career.

Over his final two seasons in Baton Rouge, LaFell racked up 120 catches for 1,721 yards and 19 touchdowns, earning first-team All-SEC honors as a junior and second team as a senior. LaFell also paced the Tigers in receiving yards as a sophomore and was an All-SEC Freshman Team pick.

"We think he's going to be a very good player," general manager Marty Hurney said. "He's a big receiver who plays fast. He's played outside and inside; he has the ability to play 'Z' and in the slot."

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