After McMichael shines as a rookie after arriving as a fourth-round pick, there was every reason to believe he would emerge as a major force in 2003.
His performance in 2003:
As he did as a rookie, McMichael continued to provide glimpses of big-play ability. You swear sometimes this guy is destined to become the best tight end in the NFL. He's a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses because of his ability get downfield. McMichael wound up with 49 catches, 10 more than as a rookie, but his touchdown total dropped from four to two. The only troubling aspect about McMichael is he continues to have mental lapses to prove very costly. We're not talking about the holding call in the opener against Houston because that was a joke of a call. But his failing to pick up blitzing Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, who then forced a Jay Fiedler fumble to kill a scoring threat, was a huge play in the game at New England. And he also had his share of pre-snap penalties. That put a damper on his performance, although in fairness his numbers could have been better had Fiedler had a better year.
His future with the team:
The Dolphins have very few sure things on offense these days, but McMichael clearly is one of those. Again, once he cleans up the mental mistakes that have plagued him this guy will be a force in the passing game. It's not a reach to even project a few Pro Bowls in his future.
Grade for 2003: B-.