Former Penn State star Saquon Barkley is very happy with where he landed in the NFL draft Thursday night.
Barkley was selected by the New York Giants with the second overall pick, giving him an opportunity to play in the area where he was born.
“To be able to get drafted to New York, the New York Giants — how well known this franchise is and known for the four Super Bowl rings and championships and being able to come home, this is the place I was born. I was born in New York, I was born in the Bronx and … and I’m just happy I’m able to stay close and be able to play for such a prestigious franchise,” he told reporters afterward.
New York is also where Barkley’s agent, Kim Miale of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, reportedly wanted him to go.
Sports Illustrated’s Ben Baskin reported last week that Barkley’s “Roc Nation handlers … don’t want him to be taken No. 1. They don’t want him in Cleveland. They want him to go second to the Giants and play in the media capital of the world. That’s where you can become the Face of the League. His manager even implored him to pull an Eli Manning and demand that the Browns not draft him.”
Miale denied the report, saying she and Roc Nation “would be thrilled for Saquon to go to whichever team drafts him,” but the message was sent.
The Browns drafted Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield at No. 1, opening the door for the Giants to take a running back who GM Dave Gettleman says was “the unanimous best player in the draft” and “was touched by the hand of God.”
He’ll now get a chance to live his out his dreams and become the face of the NFL in the Big Apple.
Barkley’s selection also helped the 38-year-old Miale make history.
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, he is the highest-drafted player ever to be represented by a female agent.
The previous high was another Miale client, Leonard Fournette, who was taken by Jacksonville with the No. 4 pick last year.
In fact, Barkley is the fourth top 10 pick she has represented in the past four years: Client Ronnie Stanley went to the Ravens at No. 6 in 2016, and Todd Gurley was selected by the Rams at No. 10 in 2015.
And even before that, she held the record for most top 10 draftees represented by a female agent, according to Yahoo Sports.
Miale also represents the top free agent on the market, former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant.
Before joining Roc Nation in 2013, Miale worked at Madison Avenue Sports and Entertainment. Her first client with Roc Nation was former Jets quarterback Geno Smith.
She’s one of a growing number of female agents, whose ranks include Kelli Masters, Kristen Kuliga and Alexa Stabler (daughter of Hall of Fame quarterback Ken Stabler).
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