10/14/2012 12:23 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins WR, Underrated Because He's White, Says Devone Bess

What do NFL stars Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Reggie Wayne, Roddy Wes Welker, Victor Cruz, and Dwayne Bowe all have in common?

They all have fewer receiving yards through five weeks than Brian Hartline.

At least one teammate of the Dolphins' league-leading wideout believe that he is being overlooked by opposing defenses because of the color of his skin. Hartline is white.

"Yeah, man," Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess replied when asked by the Palm Beach Post if race was a factor in Hartline being underrated. "Definitely."

"He can run," Bess added. "That’s good that they sleep on him, because come game time he can open up on them."

Although Miami's receiving corps has been much maligned this season, Hartline's 514 yards on 17.7 yards per reception is getting harder to ignore.

"When it comes down to it, it's reading a book by its cover, and you only have a week to prepare,” Hartline told Fox Sports Florida in attempting to explain why teams may not be ready for him.

WATCH: Cardinals Pay For Forgetting About Hartline

Last season, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson encountered a similar situation, according to teammate Greg Jennings. "They underestimate him. And honestly, he uses that to his advantage," Jennings told The Associated Press.