Bigger is better, at least as far as the Detroit Lions are concerned with their secondary.

After years of watching their undersized cornerbacks get picked on by more physical receivers, the Lions made it a point the last two years to add taller, longer-limbed cover men.

Of the four corners they’ve drafted since 2012, three are 6 feet or taller.

Jonte Green (6 feet) started five games as a sixth-round pick last year, after injuries hit the Lions’ secondary hard. Fifth-rounder Chris Greenwood (6-feet-1) spent his rookie season on the physically unable to perform list after hernia surgery. And Darius Slay (6 feet) was appealing in the second round this year because of his blend of size and speed.

“We’ve always sort of had that in our profile, but the opportunity to get those guys, there’s not many of them out there,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “There’s probably a lot more 5-9 and 5-10 guys out there than there are 6-foot, 6-foot-1 guys. But all things equal, when you do have more size, it’s beneficial for you.

“You don’t want to end up sacrificing speed, you don’t want to end up sacrificing toughness and change of direction. I think that’s the balance that you have to play there.”

Schwartz called playing cornerback “probably the most difficult thing to do in all of sports.”

“You have to run with world-class receivers, you’ve got to start backwards and they’re going forward,” he said. “They know where they’re running, you don’t. You’ve got to be tough enough to take on pulling guards and running backs and skilled enough and fast enough to cover the elite athletes, guys that are Olympic-caliber speed. So you don’t want to sacrifice change of direction and speed for size, but if you have the change of direction and have the speed, then size is definitely beneficial.”

The Lions believe they’ve struck a nice balance between bigger, more physical corners and smaller, quicker ones that will help them match up with opposing receivers.