Saquon Barkley is one of the most talked about prospects after his monster performance at the combine - meet the agent repping him ahead of this year's draft.
Barkley signed with Kim Miale of Jay-Z's agency, Roc Nation, in early January. According to Sports Illustrated, the full-service boutique agency is based in Manhattan and Barkley has a 15-man team co-chaired by Miale aimed at building his brand.
The 38-year-old Miale was named a Forty Under 40 by The Sports Business Journal. According to the publication, Miale currently holds the record by a female NFL agent for repping multiple top-10 picks. Considering Barkley is projected to be a top-five pick, 2018 could mark the fourth time in last four years that the attorney has represented or co-represented a top-10 NFL draft pick.
Running backs are Miale's specialty and her clients also include Rams running back Todd Gurley who was a top-10 pick in 2015, tackle Ronnie Stanley who was selected by the Ravens in 2016 with the No. 6 pick and Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette who was drafted No. 4 overall last year.
Miale told the Sports Business JournalBarkley has a shot to become her first client that's drafted with the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
“He is a transformational player who can go in, contribute on day one, whereas with a quarterback there may be some time where they have to develop,” she said. “I do think he has a real chance at No. 1.”
On Wednesday, Roc Nation made headlines after Ben Raskin of Sports Illustrated reported that the agency didn't want the Browns to draft Barkley because if he ends up in Cleveland "his career will be ruined." His team reportedly went so far as to advise the back to refuse to play in Cleveland. Instead, they’d prefer if he was selected by the Jets or the Giants.
According to Cleveland.com, Miale quickly released a statement shutting down the SI report, claiming her team would be “thrilled” for Saquon, regardless of where he lands.
"I can say on behalf of our entire team that we would be thrilled for Saquon to go to whichever team drafts him,'' his agent, Kim Miale told cleveland.com in a text response. "We know he will be a resounding success for any team fortunate enough to select him.''
Meanwhile according to Baskin, while Barkley would like to play for his home city of New York, the back is reportedly willing to play anywhere, including Cleveland.