a) didn't bother applying but would've been shoe-ins, or else
b) knew very early (freshman year) they were research-bound and optimized for a non-industry objective function (but could've skated into an industry job of their choice given a shift in undergraduate career focus). E.g., couldn't pass a coding interview and no industry internships but have one or more top-tier publication in a hot subfield.
But (b) is kind of stupid to think about. It's like saying a successful lawyer would not make captain in the military. This may or may not be the case, but either way, who cares?
So (b) is slightly less trivial than saying a successful lawyer would not make captain in the military because most lawyers are one conversation, a few signatures, and one oath away from being a captain.
So don't delay lawyers, join today!
> ...So (b) is slightly less trivial
I'd argue not. In both cases, a fully capable and prepared person has to jump through a couple of relatively trivial hoops. And when those hoops aren't possible to jump through it's a weird case. We can split that hair, but it's silly.