"but no player worth their salt hasn’t done the hard yards somewhere along the way."That’s just not realistic.
What you’re not acknowledging is what Wendell, and the others, had/have already accomplished when they are contracted.
Some of these guys prove to be good boys, some don’t but that is no different to the risk of contracting one young player at the expense of another or importing a foreign star.
Contracting is an imperfect science - but no player worth their salt hasn’t done the hard yards somewhere along the way.
So it could be extrapolated that you would be happy to have a Vet conduct a surgery on you for say appendicitis. He/she has done the hard yards somewhere in biology / science
Or maybe have kids on P plates driving b-double road trains the next day. Surely they don't need to learn the skills in a graduated way.