2009 NFL mock draft tops ESPN.com searches in January

Top Search of the Month: 2009 NFL Mock Draft

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell once sang "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," but when it comes to the NFL draft, ESPN.com users enjoy checking out our experts' mock drafts until "the real thing" comes along in late April. For fans of the 30 teams that didn't make the Super Bowl, this time of year undoubtedly belongs to NFL analyst Mel Kiper Jr. and Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay as they offer up their most informed predictions and help fans look forward to the promise of next season.

Quick Hits

  • No. 4 Mt. Rushmore of Sports: Bill Simmons once mused what a "Mount Rapmore" (a Mt. Rushmore of rap music) would look like. I guess we'll never know, unless XXL or Rolling Stone decides to run such a poll. However, a massive number of ESPN.com users have been searching for SportsCenter's Mt. Rushmore of Sports in order to nominate their favorite hometown players and/or coaches … even though we've made it clear there will be no redesign of the actual monument.

  • No. 9 Bracketology: Although thoughts of the NCAA tournament currently take a back seat to the excitement of the Super Bowl, one can feel the rumblings of March Madness growing more intense as searches for "bracketology" continue to increase.

  • No. 11 Senior Bowl: With so much anticipation for the upcoming NFL draft, searches for the Senior Bowl were plentiful as users kept up with potential NFL players' measurables, practices and actual game performances in college football's annual civil war among its top seniors.

  • No. 12 Super Bowl: The big game is always a top search, but Super Bowl XLIII's historic potential (the Cardinals franchise's possibly winning its first Super Bowl; Kurt Warner's possibly becoming the only QB to win a Super Bowl with two teams; Mike Tomlin's possibly becoming the youngest coach ever to win a Super Bowl) is enough to keep users searching for it for years to come.

  • No. 20 LeBron James: January was a monster month for King James, both in searches and in gameplay, as his rebound and assist average increased by four and two points, respectively, and he had three triple-doubles.

Surprise Search of the Month: 100-0

The unbelievable score of a girls high school basketball game between Covenant and Dallas Academy prompted much debate among sports pundits in regard to sportsmanship, coaching and mercy rules. The score was also last month's surprise search as users sought more information about Covenant's extremely lopsided victory over Dallas Academy. Despite the fact that the game took place Jan. 13 and most reports about it surfaced around Jan. 22 after Covenant sought to forfeit the game, the term was easily the month's surprise after garnering more than 3,800 searches (and more than 2,400 user comments) in only nine days' time.

The Complete Top 25

Check out the new ESPN Search Index for all the latest sports buzz in search, including the top daily searches, surprises and movers.

Maalek Marshall is ESPN.com's search editor.

Note: The results listed are the summation of actual search results that were manually typed in by site users of ESPN.com in said month of 2009. All prelinked searches (including columnist archive links) were excluded from this summation.