Panthers sign draft picks Connor, Taylor

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers signed two more draft choices Thursday, reaching deals with linebacker Dan Connor and defensive end Hilee Taylor.

Carolina has signed five of its nine draft picks. Still unsigned are first-rounders Jonathan Stewart and Jeff Otah, third-round choice Charles Godfrey, and seventh-round pick Geoff Schwartz.

Connor, a third-round pick, ranks as Penn State's all-time leader with 419 tackles, with 14 sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and four interceptions. He won the 2007 Bednarik Award given to the nation's top defensive player.

Taylor, a seventh-round draft choice, played linebacker as well as defensive end at North Carolina. He started all 12 games as a senior in 2007 and led the team with 10½ sacks, including at least a half-sack in seven consecutive games, to earn second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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