I found this pic recently on Twitter and was surprised on how much time passed since SM started the (now dead?) SMROOKIES project, and more surprised at how legendary their first ever line-up was, the rookies that started it all... It almost reads like a novel
Seulgi - the first female rookie introduced, already a legendary trainee that ended up becoming the example of an all-rounder and the guide to follow for most female idols. She debuted as RV center/main dancer/lead vocal, a group that released some of the biggest hits from 3rd gen and is recognized by their great quality + started the trend of dual concepts. She's the role model for so many, and she hasn't even released her full potential as artist yet.
Taeyong - the visual genius that didn't have a clue about idol life or training before being persuaded by a SM staff to audition for the company. A trainer said to him that he would never learn to dance and now he's one of the most iconic dancers and the idol of 4th gen idols, everyone follows his self-made point dance when covering Kick It, for example. He's the leader of the biggest group ever, a group everyone said would fail but is now selling millions, breaking 25-years-old records and growing each comeback. There's nothing more iconic that being the leader, center, main dancer and face of NCT, the biggest and largest project in kpop ever. Also being part of the best of best, the Avengers of kpop, and achieving international success at the same time with them.
Jeno - now this ex child-model was destined for bigger things since he was born, modelling for many brands and such, but none expected that Lee Jeno (one of the most unique korean names btw) would get to be a 2-million-seller with a single album before turning 22. In his whole career, he's already sold more than 6 million of albums with the groups he's part of. But he isn't only a pretty face, he's the captain of nct dream, the one who leads the dances and represents the team as leader when necessary. The pillar of one of the best selling groups rn, so successful that changed SM plans about their future and got to be the record breaking group of the company that no one expected.
In short, I'm just impresed at how legendary the first line-up of SM rookies turned to be. The company really have an eye for success, they picked the best of the best to launch the project. These 3 are now the face and representatives of some of the most successful groups in kpop.