Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Scouting Glossary: The Hip Shift with WR Garrett Wilson (Jets) And Davante Adams (Raiders)

Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Scouting Glossary illustrates how Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson of the 2022 NFL Draft class and Raiders All-Pro Davante Adams use a footwork technique called the hip shift to defeat off-coverage near the top of his stem. 

What Is A Hip Shift?

A footwork technique, a hip shift is a series of three moves used in combination to earn a favorable position on a defender, usually when that defender is playing coverage directly over the top of the receiver. Also commonly known as a “duck walk,” the hip shift begins with a push in the opposite direction of the eventual break path as a setup for a crossover move.

For example, if the receiver intends to break to the left, here’s the order of the moves for a hip shift:

  • A hard step/plant to the left.
  • The very next step moves immediately to the right (known as a rebound step).
  • The final step is a crossover to the left.

You can think of the sequence as 1) A plant step in direction X. 2) A rebound step in direction Y. 3) A final crossover step back to direct X.

Most defensive backs are trained to anticipate that the first move a receiver makes is setting up a final move in the opposite direction. This a natural 1-2 rhythm sequence that opponents anticipate.

The hip shift works well because it’s a 1-2-3 rhythm sequence that throws off the defender’s anticipation of the 1-2 style of moves.

The hip shift is most effective against defenders playing off the receiver. If the defender is playing directly over the receiver, the hip shift at a high rate of speed can shake the defender in the wrong direction.

If the defender is playing over the receiver but he’s shaded to the side where the receiver is breaking his route, the receiver will often slow his pace to set up the hip shift and this often throws off the rhythm of the coverage and moves the defender out of position.

A hip shift is one of 10 footwork techniques the Rookie Scouting Portfolio defines and tracks for evaluating wide receiver performance. Many of these techniques are used in combination to earn separation against coverage, depending on the position of the defender and the route.

What A Hip Shift Looks Like with New York Jets WR Garrett Wilson

My colleague from Fantasy Astronauts did a nice job of capturing a hip shift from Garrett Wilson two weeks ago. Wilson executes the moves with additional upper body movement and a fast pace so it’s nice to see this slowed down and the final yellow arrow with a zig-zagging stem approximating the initial plant, the rebound step, and the final crossover.

Davante Adams with a Masterful Hip Shift to Crossover the DB

Whether you call it a hip shift, a duck walk, or a slinky series of moves, it’s a common technique that you’ll see top receivers use against off-coverage.

And of course, if you want to know about the rookies from this draft class, you will find the most in-depth analysis of offensive skill players available (QB, RB, WR, and TE), with the 2023 Rookie Scouting Portfolio for $21.95 — and an early-bird, pre-order discount is available $19.95 through December 22nd.   

Matt’s new RSP Dynasty Rankings and Two-Year Projections Package is available for $24.95

If you’re a fantasy owner and interested in purchasing past publications for $9.95 each, the 2012-2022 RSPs also have a Post-Draft Add-on that’s included at no additional charge.  

If you’re a fantasy owner and interested in purchasing past publications for $9.95 each, the 2012-2022 RSPs also have a Post-Draft Add-on that’s included at no additional charge.  

Best yet, proceeds from sales are set aside for a year-end donation to Darkness to Light to combat the sexual abuse of children. 

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