Six months ago, Johnson Bademosi was a Lion, Cassius Marsh was a Seahawk, Adam Butler was one of hundreds of unemployed undrafted free agents and Deatrich Wise was stuck in Derek Rivers’ draft-stock shadow.

This is why it’s always important to Bill Belichick for him to remind players that it doesn’t matter how they arrived, but what they do after they unpack. It’s a tale as old as the 199th draft pick (Tom Brady) unseating the $100 million quarterback (Drew Bledsoe).

“It changed my career personally with that process,” Kyle Van Noy said.

Midway through the 2016 season, the Patriots scooped up Van Noy from the Lions. About a week later, he became part of the committee that was tasked with replacing Jamie Collins, and Van Noy currently ranks third on the Patriots in defensive snaps. He’ll be the defensive play-caller now with Dont’a Hightower out for the remainder of the season.

The Patriots have a cornucopia of examples that speak to the unpredictability of the roster-building process. Their offseason was dominated by the excitement of additions like Brandin Cooks, Stephon Gilmore and Dwayne Allen. Cooks is fifth in the NFL in receiving yards, and Gilmore had his best game against the Buccaneers before missing three weeks with a concussion, though Allen has been a nonfactor.