Ranking the AFC East QB rooms: Where do Aaron Rodgers and the NY Jets stand?

How does the Jets QB room stack up against those of their division rivals?
Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
2 of 4

3. The Miami Dolphins - Tua Tagovailoa and Mike White lead the charge

The depth chart: Tua Tagovailoa is the unquestioned starter while former NY Jets legend Mike White is firmly positioned in the No. 2 spot. Behind the top two is one of the most experienced No. 3 QBs in the league in Skylar Thompson.

The margin between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams is thin. In fact, an argument could be made for the Dolphins being higher on this list, given that Tagovailoa led the NFL in passing yards last season with 4,624. There's more to the story, however.

When evaluating these QB rooms, it's important to separate as much as possible the QB performance from their supporting cast. With Tagovailoa this is a little difficult.

Miami boasts one of the very best wide receiver duos in the league in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Hill might be the best receiver in the league at this point, and Waddle would be a No. 1 receiver on many other teams.

Those two speed merchants at receiver combined with a scheme that emphasizes YAC are a big reason why Tagovailoa led the league in passing yards. Per Pro Football Reference he was second in the league in YAC among QBs at 2177 yards while also being seventh in the league in YAC per completion at 5.7.

He also lead the league by a wide margin in passing yards on RPOs with 1,069. The next highest was Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson with 893, and no other QB had over 700.

RPOs are a product of the scheme and often are quick short passes designed to get the ball in the receiver's hands with the defense off-balance.

These types of plays are usually big YAC generators, and while it does take skill to quickly process the defense and make the right decision between run and pass, most of the production is actually generated by the receiver who is often schemed open. In short, once the right read is made the completion is a "gimme."

Tagovailoa's average depth of target ranked tied with 12th in the league, confirming that a lot of his passing yards were generated by his receivers and the scheme. Ball security and turnovers have also been an issue for him. In 2024 he posted 14 interceptions and fumbled 13 times.

Pro Football Focus had him with a turnover-worthy play percentage of 3.5%, which ranked tied for eighth highest in 2023. Turnovers, especially from the QB, can prove to be especially costly and can often ruin games.

The bottom line with Tagovailoa is that he is a great QB for his system, but his impact is inflated by his stellar supporting cast and his issues with ball security leave him on the outside looking in of upper-echelon NFL QBs.

As for White, he's a tough, gritty backup who can play well enough in spurts to win you a few games if pressed into action. He isn't the most mobile to make plays out of structure and can sometimes not make the right decision, but he can generally make enough plays within the structure of the offense and take care of the ball well enough to win some games.

Durability is also a concern with White. In 2021 he missed time with a wrist injury and in 2022 he missed multiple games with broken ribs. These concerns limit his efficacy as a backup and mean that at any given moment the third QB on the depth chart needs to be ready to go.

As for Skylar Thompson, he enters his third year with Miami. The 2022 seventh-round pick got significant playing time during the 2022 season. He played in seven games and attempted 105 passes with a ghastly 57.1% completion percentage.

Most third QBs are developmental types, and Thompson already has more experience than most. Miami hopes he can develop into a quality backup someday. Already 27 years old, we'll see if there's much more potential for growth, or if Thompson is essentially a finished product at this point.