WNBA Draft 2022: Mock Draft Roundup #2

There have been a few significant developments since we launched our first Mock Draft Roundup on March 27. So, we had to run it back one more time as we prepare for the 2022 WNBA Draft on April 11 (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN) in New York City.

First, came the Women’s Final Four, which put a number of draft prospects in the spotlight one final time before the draft. The championship game between South Carolina and UConn featured three potential first round picks in Destanni Henderson from the champion Gamecocks and Christyn Williams and Evina Westbrook from the runner-up Huskies.

Then, players had to make it official and decide whether or not they would renounce their remaining NCAA eligibility and make themselves available as candidates for the draft. The total pool of players available stands at 108 for the 36 selections that will be made next Monday.

Finally, came a blockbuster trade as the Atlanta Dream secured the No. 1 overall pick in the draft from Washington in exchange for the No. 3 and No. 14 picks in the 2022 draft and the right to a pick swap in 2023 (Washington’s own first-round pick for the first-round Atlanta acquired from Los Angeles from a previous trade).

There have been six WNBA mock drafts released since this week and we’ve complied the projects in our latest first round roundup.

  1. Atlanta Dream (from Washington)
  • ESPN: Rhyne Howard (Kentucky, Guard, 6-2)
  • CBS Sports: Rhyne Howard (Kentucky, Guard, 6-2)
  • The Athletic: Rhyne Howard (Kentucky, Guard, 6-2)
  • Swish Appeal: Rhyne Howard (Kentucky, Guard, 6-2)
  • Fansided: Rhyne Howard (Kentucky, Guard, 6-2)
  • W Basketball Blog: Rhyne Howard (Kentucky, Guard, 6-2)
  1. Indiana Fever
  • ESPN: NaLyssa Smith (Baylor, Forward, 6-4)
  • CBS Sports: NaLyssa Smith (Baylor, Forward, 6-4)
  • The Athletic: NaLyssa Smith (Baylor, Forward, 6-4)
  • Swish Appeal: NaLyssa Smith (Baylor, Forward, 6-4)
  • Fansided: NaLyssa Smith (Baylor, Forward, 6-4)
  • W Basketball Blog: NaLyssa Smith (Baylor, Forward, 6-4)
  1. Washington Mystics (from Atlanta)
  • ESPN: Shakira Austin (Ole Miss, Center, 6-5)
  • CBS Sports: Shakira Austin (Ole Miss, Center, 6-5)
  • The Athletic: Shakira Austin (Ole Miss, Center, 6-5)
  • Swish Appeal: Shakira Austin (Ole Miss, Center, 6-5)
  • Fansided: Shakira Austin (Ole Miss, Center, 6-5)
  • W Basketball Blog: Shakira Austin (Ole Miss, Center, 6-5)
  1. Indiana Fever (from Los Angeles)
  • ESPN: Nyara Sabally (Oregon, Forward, 6-5)
  • CBS Sports: Kierstan Bell (Florida Gulf Coast, Guard, 6-1)
  • The Athletic: Kierstan Bell (Florida Gulf Coast, Guard, 6-1)
  • Swish Appeal: Kierstan Bell (Florida Gulf Coast, Guard, 6-1)
  • Fansided: Kierstan Bell (Florida Gulf Coast, Guard, 6-1)
  • W Basketball Blog: Kierstan Bell (Florida Gulf Coast, Guard, 6-1)
  1. New York Liberty
  • ESPN: Elissa Cunane (North Carolina State, Center, 6-5)
  • CBS Sports: Emily Engstler (Louisville, Forward, 6-1)
  • The Athletic: Nyara Sabally (Oregon, Forward, 6-5)
  • Swish Appeal: Emily Engstler (Louisville, Forward, 6-1)
  • Fansided: Emily Engstler (Louisville, Forward, 6-1)
  • W Basketball Blog: Emily Engstler (Louisville, Forward, 6-1)
  1. Indiana Fever (from Dallas)
  • ESPN: Emily Engstler (Louisville, Forward, 6-1)
  • CBS Sports: Nyara Sabally (Oregon, Forward, 6-5)
  • The Athletic: Christyn Williams (Connecticut, Guard, 5-11)
  • Swish Appeal: Nyara Sabally (Oregon, Forward, 6-5)
  • Fansided: Nia Clouden (Michigan State, Guard, 5-8)
  • W Basketball Blog: Destanni Henderson (South Carolina, Guard, 5-7)
  1. Dallas Wings (from Chicago)
  • ESPN: Rae Burrell (Tennessee, Guard, 6-1)
  • CBS Sports: Rae Burrell (Tennessee, Guard, 6-1)
  • The Athletic: Sika Kone (Mali, Forward, 6-3)
  • Swish Appeal: Destanni Henderson (South Carolina, Guard, 5-7)
  • Fansided: Nyara Sabally (Oregon, Forward, 6-5)
  • W Basketball Blog: Veronica Burton (Northwestern, Guard, 5-9)
  1. Minnesota Lynx (from Phoenix)
  • ESPN: Sika Kone (Mali, Forward, 6-3)
  • CBS Sports: Sika Kone (Mali, Forward, 6-3)
  • The Athletic: Emily Engstler (Louisville, Forward, 6-1)
  • Swish Appeal: Elissa Cunane (North Carolina State, Center, 6-5)
  • Fansided: Sika Kone (Mali, Forward, 6-3)
  • W Basketball Blog: Nyara Sabally (Oregon, Forward, 6-5)
  1. Los Angeles Sparks (from Seattle)
  • ESPN: Kierstan Bell (Florida Gulf Coast, Guard, 6-1)
  • CBS Sports: Evina Westbrook (Connecticut, Guard, 6-0)
  • The Athletic: Elissa Cunane (North Carolina State, Center, 6-5)
  • Swish Appeal: Christyn Williams (Connecticut, Guard, 5-11)
  • Fansided: Destanni Henderson (South Carolina, Guard, 5-7)
  • W Basketball Blog: Rae Burrell (Tennessee, Guard, 6-1)
  1. Indiana Fever (from Minnesota)
  • ESPN: Destanni Henderson (South Carolina, Guard, 5-7)
  • CBS Sports: Nia Clouden (Michigan State, Guard, 5-8)
  • The Athletic: Queen Egbo (Baylor University, Center, 6-3)
  • Swish Appeal: Veronica Burton (Northwestern, Guard, 5-9)
  • Fansided: Naz Hillmon (Michigan, Forward, 6-2)
  • W Basketball Blog: Lorela Cubaj (Georgia Tech, Forward, 6-4)
  1. Las Vegas Aces
  • ESPN: Naz Hillmon (Michigan, Forward, 6-2)
  • CBS Sports: Elissa Cunane (North Carolina State, Center, 6-5)
  • The Athletic: Rae Burrell (Tennessee, Guard, 6-1)
  • Swish Appeal: Rae Burrell (Tennessee, Guard, 6-1)
  • Fansided: Elissa Cunane (North Carolina State, Center, 6-5)
  • W Basketball Blog: Elissa Cunane (North Carolina State, Center, 6-5)
  1. Connecticut Sun
  • ESPN: Christyn Williams (Connecticut, Guard, 5-11)
  • CBS Sports: Christyn Williams (Connecticut, Guard, 5-11)
  • The Athletic: Nia Clouden (Michigan State, Guard, 5-8)
  • Swish Appeal: Sika Kone (Mali, Forward, 6-3)
  • Fansided: Veronica Burton (Northwestern, Guard, 5-9)
  • W Basketball Blog: Sika Kone (Mali, Forward, 6-3)

Key Takeaways

There is a consensus among these six mock drafts that the first three players selected will be: Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard going No. 1 to Atlanta, followed by Baylor forward NaLyssa Smith at No. 2 to Indiana and Ole Miss center Shakira Austin at No. 3 to Washington. Each player was in that position across all six mock drafts.

It was close to a top four consensus as Florida Gulf Coast guard Kierstan Bell was in the No. 4 spot on five of the six mock drafts, with the only exception coming from ESPN, where she was slotted at No. 9 to Los Angeles.

Overall, eight players appeared among the first round picks on all six mock drafts, with Louisville forward Emily Engstler (average draft position of 5.7), Oregon forward Nyara Sabally (average draft position of 6.0), NC State center Elissa Cunane and Mali forward Sika Kone (both with an average draft position of 9.2).

Five other players appeared on at least half of the mock drafts surveyed. Tennessee guard Rae Burrell was a first-round pick on all but one of the six mock drafts. Connecticut guard Christyn Williams and South Carolina guard Destanni Henderson – who just faced off in the national championship game – both appear in the first round on four of the six mock drafts. Michigan State guard and Northwestern guard Veronica Burton each appeared on three of the six mock drafts.

While there is a strong consensus among the mock drafts one week ahead of the draft, you never really know how the night is going to play out. Will there be more trades? Will Indiana keep all four of its first-round picks? Is there a sleeper pick out there that the mock drafts have missed? All of those questions will be answered on Monday.

Sources

Longtime WNBA reporter Brian Martin writes articles on WNBA.com throughout the season. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the WNBA or its clubs.