When asked in a chat if he thought the Panthers would trade up for a WR, Adam Schefter said, "If (Justin) Blackmon managed to slip to Carolina's turn, it would have to be interested. But Carolina really likes Brandon LaFell and the Panthers believe he's poised for a breakout. It doesn't mean they're not interested in adding more receivers. It just means it's hard to see them trading up in Round 1 to get one."
During the first eight games, LaFell saw 3.0 targets per game and produced an average of 2.1 receptions for 35 yards and 0.25 TDs. Over the final eight games, he averaged 4.0 targets for 2.4-42-0.13, so there wasn't a big jump in production despite a 33% increase in targets. However his Fantasy Points / Target was 1.42, which ranked #16 out of 119 WRs with at least 30 targets in 2012. He is definitely a candidate for a breakout season if he gets true WR2 targets.