Drafted in 1998, Brian Kelly became one of the focal points of the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers team in 2002. Coming out of the University of Southern California, Kelly was a second-round draft pick that spring. The Buccaneers did not have a first-round pick in 1998, but did have two picks in the second round, spent on Jacquez Green and Kelly. While Green turned out to be a bust, Kelly performed well in a Buccaneers jersey.
His best season was by far and away his 2002 season, in which he brought in eight interceptions and totaled 57 tackles, both career highs. Obviously, the Buccaneers went on to win the Super Bowl in that season, defeating the Oakland Raiders. Although he did not record an interception in the 2002 playoffs, Kelly started in every game and was a force on one of the all-time great defenses in NFL history.
Over the course of his 11 -year career, Kelly spent 10 seasons with Tampa Bay. He might have finished his career as a member of the Detroit Lions, but Kelly’s best years obviously came as a member of the Buccaneers.
His 22 interceptions during his 10 seasons with the team ranks him seventh all-time behind six other team legends. Kelly’s influence on the Super Bowl winning team, as well as his extended stay with the franchise earns him a spot on the list. Although not the flashiest of players, Kelly deserves recognition for his impact on the history of the Buccaneers franchise.